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Reviews

Android Wear Review: 4G-Support FINALLY Confirmed

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Android
Reviews

Many were hoping that Android Wear would signal the true start of the smartwatch revolution, and while Google's effort is easily the best we've seen so far in this particular field, there are issues that could prevent it from catching on in the way some have predicted.

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Fedora 23 (GNOME) Review: Well, it’s Little Complicated

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GNOME
Reviews

Fedora 23 arrived a week later than originally planned, just like Fedora 22. While there are couple of Fedora spins, featuring popular desktop environments, for the past couple of days, I’ve been using the main release which is based on GNOME Shell (3.18).

It’s true that GNOME 3.18 comes with many subtle refinements and features, but one of these features (a major one unfortunately) looked confusing to me, just like I find it difficult to cope with the default desktop layout of GNOME3, which is why I only use the ‘Classic Desktop Session’ as it resembles the old GNOME2 desktop (well, to a certain degree). Fedora 22 also had let go of one majorly useful utility (systemd’s ‘readahead’ component) and unfortunately, Fedora 23 too comes without it.

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Also: Schedule of Fedora 24 published

Rolling and tumbling

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Recently I realized that it has been over 5 years I’ve been using Arch Linux continuously, one one or two of my computers. I have been using it in professional environment on my laptop and my workstation; I have been using it as a “home entertainment platform”, as it were, and as a family computer. This makes Arch Linux the distribution I’ve been using the most and for the longest period of time. Only Debian comes close with four years. I have also used Fedora, OpenSuse, Mandriva (OpenMandriva, Mageia and Mandrake/driva Linux as well), Ubuntu, Elementary, and I’ve tested several others, from the rather exotic ones to the most common distros.

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Reviewing Ubuntu 15.10, Fedora 23, and openSUSE Leap 42.1...at the same time!

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Reviews

So, instead of writing a review of each of these new releases, I am simply writing one article comparing all three of them as desktop workstations (I won't be reviewing them as servers in this article). A battle royale. A no-holds-barred cage match. A Linux Distro Thunderdome. Or a friendly tea amongst three friends. Call it what you will…it means I only need to write one article instead of three. So I like the idea.

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openSUSE Leap 42.1 Review: The Most Mature Linux Distribution

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Reviews
SUSE

What makes this release even more important is that with Leap, SUSE and openSUSE have finally come together. With this release openSUSE will start using the same code which is being used in SLE. So technically you are running the 'community' version of SLE.

Leap 42.1 is based on the Service Pack 1 (SP1) of SLE 12, which will be released soon. Leap will follow SLE’s release cycle so there won’t be the regular 9-month release, instead a new version of openSUSE Leap will be released when the new version of SLE is due.

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Android Wear Review: Coming Along Nicely...

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Android
Reviews

Many were hoping that Android Wear would signal the true start of the smartwatch revolution, and while Google's effort is easily the best we've seen so far in this particular field, there are issues that could prevent it from catching on in the way some have predicted.

The reliance on voice commands is arguably the biggest sticking point. Despite the hype behind products such as Google Now, Siri and Cortana, very few people feel comfortable using speech to control their phones when in public – and it often doesn't take that much longer to access the information you need using your touchscreen anyway.

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Chalet OS: good idea, bad design

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Linux
Reviews

Let me introduce you to Chalet OS. The web site of this operating system says that their main target audience is fresh Linux converts who come to the Linux world from other operating systems. Isn't it the same audience that Zorin OS is aiming at? I was baffled and intrigued!

The latest version of the Chalet OS distribution has the number 14.04.3, which gives us a proper clue that Chalet OS is actually another offspring in the Ubuntu family. This version was released in August 2015.

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A tip of the hat to Fedora 23

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Red Hat
Reviews

The Fedora distribution is a Red Hat sponsored community project which regularly ships with some of the latest software the open source community has to offer. The most recent release of the distribution, Fedora 23, features GNOME 3.18, LibreOffice 5, version 4.2 of the Linux kernel and the ability to access Google Drive from the GNOME file manager. This release also features packages built with security hardening features like address space layout randomization (ASLR) which makes it more difficult to exploit vulnerabilities in software. In addition, Fedora has almost entirely migrated from Python 2 to Python 3 with all core utilities such as the Anaconda system installer now using Python 3. A full list of changes can be found in the Fedora 23 release notes.

These days, the Fedora distribution is made available in several editions, including Workstation, Server and Cloud. I decided to download the project's Workstation edition which is available as a 1.4GB ISO. The default desktop environment for the Workstation edition is GNOME Shell, but spins of Fedora are available with alternative desktop environments.

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Also: Fedora 23 and unsupported ARM/AArch64 devices

BlackBerry Priv review

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Android
Reviews

When I was reviewing this phone, I took the Acela train from New York to DC. It's a train filled to the brim with lawyers and lobbyists — and several of them saw the BlackBerry logo atop this beautiful phone and asked me about it. One of them gestured with disdain at his iPhone, practically begging me to give him permission to cast it aside and go back to the BlackBerry. (Obviously the $699 asking price wasn't going to be a problem.)

In truth, I wanted to tell him to do it. But I couldn't. There are enough software bugs and slowdowns that I had to tell him to hold off and see if BlackBerry could finish the job it started here. Take those good ideas and buff off their rough edges, make the software just a little more stable. Because as a first effort at an Android phone, the Priv is remarkable, and I couldn't wait to see what a second push would do for it (assuming, of course, that BlackBerry gets the chance).

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Kali Linux Review

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Linux
Reviews

Good news! There’s new release of the Kali Linux which is a reincarnation of the BackTrack. If you work in forensic analysis, network security, and penetration testing, then it’s very important to keep your tools updated, so you will be protected from the latest known threats, as well as you will get the latest tools at your control.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE and GNOME

  • A Simple, Straightforward Clipboard Manager for GNOME
    Clipboard Manager extension for Gnome Shell is a no-frills clipboard manager for GNOME. It adds an indicator menu to the top panel and caches your clipboard history. There’s nothing extra; no regex searching, or cross-device, multi-sync or pan-dimensional magic. Just a simple, easy to access clipboard history. I’ve never been a particularly big clipboard fan. I typically only need to access whatever I copy as I copy it.
  • First GNOME 3.26 Development Release Out, Some Apps Ported to Meson Build System
    GNOME Project's Michael Catanzaro just informed us via an email announcement that the first unstable release of the upcoming GNOME 3.26 desktop environment is out now for public testing and early adopters. Yes, we're talking about GNOME 3.25.1, the first development in the release cycle of GNOME 3.26, which is currently scheduled to launch later this year, on September 13. Being the first unstable release and all that, GNOME 3.25.1 doesn't ship with many changes, and you can check out the CORE NEWS and APPS NEWS for details.
  • Features To Look Forward To In Next Month's KDE Plasma 5.10
    We are just one month away from seeing the next KDE Plasma 5 desktop release.
  • User Question: With Some Free Software Phone Projects Ending, What Does Plasma Mobile's Future Look Like?
    Rosy. While it is true that Plasma Mobile used to be built on the Ubuntu Phone codebase, that was superseded some time ago. The recent events at Ubuntu and other mobile communities have not modified the pace of the development (which is pretty fast) or the end goal, which is to build frameworks that will allow convergence for all kinds of front-ends and apps on all kinds of devices.

Google in Devices

  • Glow LEDs with Google Home
    For the part one, the custom commands were possible thanks to Google Actions Apis. I used API.AI for my purpose since they had good documentation. I wont go into detail explaining the form fields in Api.ai, they have done a good job with documentation and explaining part, I will just share my configurations screenshot for your quick reference and understanding. In Api.ai the conversations are broken into intents. I used one intent (Default Welcome Intent) and a followup intent (Default Welcome Intent – custom) for my application.
  • Google Assistant SDK preview brings voice agent to the Raspberry Pi
    Google has released a Python-based Google Assistant SDK that’s designed for prototyping voice agent technology on the Raspberry Pi 3. Google’s developer preview aims to bring Google Assistant voice agent applications to Linux developers. The Google Assistant SDK is initially designed for prototyping voice agent technology on the Raspberry Pi 3 using Python and Raspbian Linux, but it works with most Linux distributions. The SDK lets developers add voice control, natural language understanding, and Google AI services to a variety of devices.
  • Huawei, Google create a high-powered single board computer for Android
    The Raspberry Pi is very popular with DIY enthusiasts because of the seemingly endless possibilities of how you can design devices with it. Huawei and Google have created their own single board computer (SBC), but this will probably benefit Android developers more than DIY enthusiasts. The HiKey 960 is a very robust SBC aimed at creating an Android PC or a testing tool for Android apps.
  • Huawei’s $239 HiKey 960 wants to be a high-end alternative to Raspberry Pi
    12.5 million sales in five years – Linaro and Huawei have unveiled a high-end (read: expensive) rival.

Mobile, Tizen, and Android

Leftovers: OSS

  • Is The Open Source Software Movement A Technological Religion?
  • Experts weigh in on open source platforms, market
    In this Advisory Board, our experts discuss the pros and cons of open source virtualization and which platforms are giving proprietary vendors a run for their money.
  • Light a fire under Cassandra with Apache Ignite
    Apache Cassandra is a popular database for several reasons. The open source, distributed, NoSQL database has no single point of failure, so it’s well suited for high-availability applications. It supports multi-datacenter replication, allowing organizations to achieve greater resiliency by, for example, storing data across multiple Amazon Web Services availability zones. It also offers massive and linear scalability, so any number of nodes can easily be added to any Cassandra cluster in any datacenter. For these reasons, companies such as Netflix, eBay, Expedia, and several others have been using Cassandra for key parts of their businesses for many years.
  • Proprietary Election Systems: Summarily Disqualified
    Hello Open Source Software Community & U.S. Voters, I and the California Association of Voting Officials, represent a group of renowned computer scientists that have pioneered open source election systems, including, "one4all," New Hampshire’s Open Source Accessible Voting System (see attached). Today government organizations like NASA, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Air Force rely on open source software for mission critical operations. I and CAVO believe voting and elections are indeed mission-critical to protect democracy and fulfill the promise of the United States of America as a representative republic. Since 2004, the open source community has advocated for transparent and secure—publicly owned—election systems to replace the insecure, proprietary systems most often deployed within communities. Open source options for elections systems can reduce the costs to taxpayers by as much as 50% compared to traditional proprietary options, which also eliminates vendor lock-in, or the inability of an elections office to migrate away from a solution as costs rise or quality decreases.
  • Microsoft SQL Server on Linux – YES, Linux! [Ed: Marketing and PR from IDG's "Microsoft Subnet"; This headline is a lie from Microsoft; something running on DrawBridge (proprietary Wine-like Windows layer) is not GNU/Linux]