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Reviews

Hands on: What's new and noteworthy with Android N

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Reviews

With Google's I/O developers' conference behind us, it's time to start looking forward to what's next in the world of Android.

The most prominent thing is Google's rapidly approaching Android release, currently known only as Android "N." (The company has yet to reveal the full name or version number.) While the software itself isn't expected to arrive until sometime this summer, we're getting an increasingly clear picture of the fresh features and improvements it'll provide.

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Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition review

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Ubuntu

The Meizu Pro 5 is the latest flagship smartphone to run on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu is designed to work across all device types – including mobile, tablets, convertibles and desktops – using a common core code. This is similar to Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile.

However, unlike Microsoft’s code, Ubuntu is totally open source and has largely been developed and improved by the desktop OS’s millions-strong user base. This means the OS is capable of evolving and changing at a great pace and has update cycles that would make most sysadmins weep.

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CentOS 7 KDE: not for home users

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OS
Linux
Reviews

Whom can I recommend CentOS to? Probably to people I mentioned in the very beginning of this article: students who want to dedicate their life to system administration. You need to learn how to search for the answers, how to do things manually. That is your profession. That is your bread. CentOS gives you a brilliant opportunity to learn all of that along with learning the system itself.

But CentOS is not for home users who want things done quickly and easily, I'm afraid.

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Google Nexus 6P Review: This is the Android Flagship You’re Looking For

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Android
Reviews

This is the flagship Android handset you’re looking for, and best of all it’s reasonably priced. It is unlocked and offers universal wireless carrier support (yes, including Verizon), and it starts at just $500. At that price, you have a choice of silver, graphite, frost, and matte gold finishes and 32 GB of storage. If you want to step up to 64 GB, which I recommend, the price jumps just $50 to $550. (Take that, Apple: A similarly configured iPhone 6S Plus costs $850, or $300 more than the Nexus 6P.) A 128 GB version will set you back an also-reasonable $650. These are fantastic prices for a fantastic flagship device.

And that, folks, is called the sweet spot. The Nexus 6P hits it, and while there are still some platform niceties that make me personally prefer the iPhone, the gap is now smaller than ever. The Nexus 6P is highly recommended.

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Rebellin Linux Offers Best of Both Gnome Worlds

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Both versions generally performed well. The Rebellin distro is impressive considering its small development team.

Rebellin is not without a few glitches, however. One major problem I had with several of my computers testing the distro was with the audio playback in both the GNOME and the Mate editions. It did not play back. I double checked all the settings, even making sure that the mute option was not checked.

Another issue affected just the Mate edition. The touchpad settings are not available, and the Touchpad tab itself is missing. The Synaptics Touchpad Driver is not being loaded in Rebellin Mate, according to Rebellin's developer. He posted a workaround that may temporarily resolve the problem. It is a multistep process that is not very straightforward.

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Clonezilla Live "Wily"

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One of my favourite open source utilities is Clonezilla Live. The Clonezilla project creates tools to assist people in making copies of their hard drives and disk partitions. This can be useful at home for transferring an operating system from one computer to another. It's also a quick way to backup a system's packages and configuration files. In office environments it can be a big time saver to be able to clone one generic operating system onto multiple computers quickly. While installing, configuring and updating an operating system from scratch might take anywhere from half an hour to several hours, Clonezilla can transfer a copy of an operating system across a network in ten to twenty minutes.

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BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition review

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Ubuntu

THE BQ AQUARIS M10 is the first Ubuntu-powered tablet and Canonical's attempt to bring its Linux-based operating system to the masses.

It's also the first tablet to offer a fully converged experience, according to Canonical, as the BQ Aquaris M10 can transform from a tablet to a fully-fledged PC.

Ubuntu OS can change from a touch-based to a desktop interface via an HDMI connection, trumping Microsoft's Continuum feature in Windows 10 on paper at least, and apps switch from full-screen to floating windows that can be resized and moved around.

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Calculate Linux 15.17

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Xubuntu Xenial Xerus - Triple X - The spy who failed me

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GNU
Linux
Reviews
Ubuntu

Before you read this conclusion, please do me a favor. Please read my review of Vivid, then go back up, find the links to the Werewolf review and the best distro of 2015 summary, and then read those, too. Then, come back to this piece here. Now, please try to explain, in human lingo, how it is possible than only one year apart, we get such a huge, drastic difference in the distro behavior.

Xubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus is meant to be the rock-solid LTS, beautiful and elegant and majestic. It is none of that. There are so many bugs and problems it really turns me off the whole Linux thing. I feel like an idiot for doing these reviews, for wasting hundreds and thousands of hours of my life trying to promote a cause and technology that ultimately just ends up failing randomly, because people can't be bothered to invest time in proper QA rather than pointless, arbitrary release dates and silly changes that serve no purpose.

Not good. Not good at all. Realtek issues, mouse going away after waking from sleep, login niggles, package management woes, sucky Bluetooth stack, Thunar hiccups, Samba crap. This is just a short list of everything that's wrong with Xenial, and then, to make it even worse, the Unity and the Xfce versions can't really agree on the suck list. They all have their own unique problems, and there's no consistency. I'm just pissed off. April 2016 was meant to be a happy, cheerful month. Now, I'm facing total destruction and distros that barely work. And yes, please, skip to the very end, and tell me how it's all my fault. Anyhow, Xubuntu Xerus gets only 3/10. Do not upgrade for now.

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Also: Xubuntu 16.04 - install and enjoy?

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: AMD, RADV, RadeonSI, Mesa 18.0.1

  • AMDGPU DRM Gets "GFXOFF" Patches To Turn Off Graphics Engine
    AMD's Huang Rui has posted a set of 20 patches providing "GFXOFF" support for the AMDGPU Direct Rendering Manager Linux kernel driver. GFXOFF is a new graphics processor feature that allows for powering off the graphics engine when it would otherwise be idle with no graphics workload. Obviously, this would equate to a potentially significant power savings with that engine being able to be shut-off.
  • RADV Driver Lands Support For Vulkan's New Descriptor Indexing Extension
    Earlier this month with the Vulkan 1.1.72 specification update was the new VK_EXT_descriptor_indexing extension that is quickly being well received by developers. The VK_EXT_descriptor_indexing extension allows for creating large descriptor sets made up of all their combined resources and selecting those resources via dynamic indexes in a shader.
  • RadeonSI Now Appears To Support "RX Vega M" With Intel Core CPUs
    One of the most common Linux hardware questions I've received dozens of times in the past few weeks alone has been over the support for "RX Vega M" Vega-based graphics processors found on select newer Intel Kabylake CPUs. It appears RadeonSI at least should now support these Radeon graphics on Intel CPUs.
  • mesa 18.0.1
  • Mesa 18.0.1 Released With A Number Of Fixes
    In addition to Mesa 17.3.9 being released today, Mesa 18.0.1 also rolled out the door as the first point release to last quarter's Mesa 18.0 series. Mesa 18.0.1 features improvements to its Meson build system support, several RADV Vulkan driver fixes, various fixes to the Gallium3D Nine (D3D9) state tracker, various Intel driver fixes, several core Mesa improvements, and then the other random smothering of fixes collected over the past few weeks.

Programming: nGraph Compiler, JavaScript Trademark, PyPI and Pip

  • Intel Opens Up nGraph Source Code For DNN Model Compiler
    Intel tonight announced they are open-sourcing their nGraph compiler code, which serves as a framework-neutral deep neural network model compiler. Intel claims with nGraph and Xeon Scalable hardware that researchers can obtain up to 10x performance improvements over previous TensorFlow integrations, as one example. Besides TensorFlow, nGraph also supports PyTorch, MXNet, Neon, Caffe2, and CNTK while also planning to support other frameworks moving forward.
  • Why it's finally time to give up on the name JavaScript
    An iOS developer has apparently received a cease and desist notice from Oracle over the use of the word "JavaScript" in the title of their app. The developer, Tyanya Software, shared the notice on perennial internet soapbox Reddit to seek advice on how to fight the order. [...] If user reviews are any indication, the app is not even particularly good, with reviewers stating things such as "Not ready for production," "Does not work as advertised," and "Waste of money, don't buy this." The last update to the app was in 2014, which the changelog notes was only an upgrade to add support for iOS 8. The app developer is at least honest about the intent behind the unwieldy name for the app, saying in a Reddit comment that "we game the App Store ranking by adding all the keywords to the app name." While Oracle has a duty to protect their trademarks, this type of legal bludgeoning underscores a historical problem that has been left unaddressed for too long: JavaScript is a terrible name for the thing being described. It has nothing to do with Java, an actual product developed by Sun (now owned by Oracle). JavaScript was developed at Mozilla, and the name was changed during beta releases of Netscape Navigator 2.0 from "LiveScript" to "JavaScript." It has, for some time, caused confusion among casual web users about the difference between Java and JavaScript. Given that ECMAScript is also a trademarked term, it seems best to revert to calling the language "LiveScript" to undercut trademark-related legal posturing. [...] Oracle declined to comment on this story.
  • New PyPI launched
    The new PyPI has been launched. Browser traffic and API calls (including "pip install") have been redirected from the old pypi.python.org to the new site. The old PyPI will shut down on April 30. LWN covered the new PyPI last week.
  • Pip 10.0 has been released
    The release of pip 10.0 has been announced. Some highlights of this release include the removal of Python 2.6 support, limited PEP 518 support (with more to come), a new "pip config" command, and other improvements.

Meltdown/PTI Mitigation Impact On BSDs vs. Linux

Besides the fresh BSD/Linux disk performance tests, some other tests I ran on various BSDs and Linux distributions this week was looking at the performance impact of Intel Meltdown CPU vulnerability mitigation on each of them, namely the performance impact of using kernel page-table isolation. On DragonFlyBSD 5.2, TrueOS 18.03, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and Clear Linux I ran tests when the mitigation was enabled and then again when it was off for seeing the performance impact. Read more

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

  • Enterprise Node.js on OpenShift, April 19th, 12 p.m. EDT
    The next online DevNation Live Tech Talk is Thursday, April 19th at 12pm EDT. The topic is “Enterprise Node.js on Red Hat OpenShift” presented by Lance Ball, and hosted by Burr Sutter. The popularity of JavaScript on the front end and the JSON format for data has led to a “JavaScript Everywhere” movement with Node.js at the center. Node.js offers developers an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that is perfect for high concurrency, low-latency applications that run across distributed devices. Its reactive architecture makes it an ideal technology for containerized microservices architectures you’ve been hearing so much about.
  • President to President with Luc Villeneuve, Red Hat Canada
    ITWC President Fawn Annan gets to the point with Red Hat’s general manager for Canada. Villeneuve speaks about building the open source technology firm in the country, the unique differences when dealing with the Quebec market, and how he fosters a positive culture in the workplace. Plus, he dishes on how his experience in journey hockey taught him how to build a successful sales team.
  • Be mindful of jumping into an open source project too soon: RedHat CTO
    Open source software has long been seen as a movement towards collaborative development. In a conversation with BusinessLine, Chris Wright, Vice-President & CTO at RedHat, talks about some of the challenges the open source community is facing and why it is important to set expectations right when it comes to promoting open source software. Edited excerpts:
  • DevOps Tool Market Global Manufacturers: Chef, Atlassian, Saltstac, Red Hat and Docker Inc.
  • Two sizzlers stock’s are not to be missed: Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), Navient Corporation (NAVI)
  • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora meetup at Pune – March 2018
    Long time we did not had any meetup at Pune, Maharashtra, India, so we decided to get started again. Details about this meetup are available at Fedora Wiki page. Planning for meetup started 1 month before. Initially Ompragash proposed to have meetup.com account for Fedora Pune to get more awareness. Later dropped this plan, since this is not only Fedora Pune level topic but applicable for all Fedora events.
  • Fedora 28 Beta – dnf system-upgrade
    Used DNF to remove duplicate rpms, reinstalled the new kernel and libwbclient, and corrected GNOME’s right-click behaviour, and all is well.