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Reviews

BQ Aquaris E5: An Ubuntu Edition Phone that severely disappoints

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Reviews
Ubuntu

I can't begin to tell you how saddened I am that I've had to write this. I wanted the Ubuntu Phone to completely blow me away and pull me from the Android platform with ease and grace. Instead, it solidified my opinion that jumping into the ring with Android and Apple is a fight that most aren't really ready to take up.

Please, Canonical, go back to the drawing board and return with a UI that makes sense... or simply return all of your focus on what you do best and leave the mobile platform to Google and Apple.

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Mageia 5 Linux Distro Offers New Tools, Improved Stability

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GNU
Linux
MDV
Reviews

The Mageia 5 Linux distribution, which launched June 19, provides new tools, improved stability and overall ease of use. The Mageia Linux distro was first formed in September 2010 as a fork of French Linux distribution Mandriva. While Mandriva as a commercial entity ceased operation in May of this year, Mageia is alive and well, continuing on its mission of creating a user-friendly desktop-focused Linux distribution. New features in Mageia 5 include support for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) hardware, which enables Mageia to run on a broader array of systems than previously. Historically, Mandriva was focused on the KDE Linux desktop as the default. In addition to KDE, Mageia offers users an easy installation choice of other desktops, including GNOME 3.14, Cinnamon 2.4.5 and Xfce 4.12. With Mageia 5, the Btrfs next-generation Linux file system is now fully supported, providing users with a robust file system capability. Helping users move from Microsoft's Windows operating system is also part of Mageia 5, which has a Windows settings import feature. eWEEK examines key highlights of the Mageia 5 Linux distribution release.

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Also: Mageia 5: I See no Change... and That's Good!

OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2 Screencast and Screenshots

Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

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Linux
Reviews

Thankfully this is not the case with Mint 17.2 because the underlying packages from Ubuntu have not changed. You can update to Mint 17.2 directly from Update Manager. That will continue to be true for the rest of the 17.x release cycle (which will last through Ubuntu 16.04, due in April 2016).

And indeed you should upgrade. Given that it's easy and painless to update, combined with all the improvements in this release, Linux Mint 17.2 is well worth it. This is exactly the kind of user-focused release that solves small, everyday problems while leaving the rest of the system alone.

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Running BSD on the desktop with MidnightBSD 0.6

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Reviews
BSD

MidnightBSD FreeBSD is a fine operating system to run on servers and some people feel the characteristics which make FreeBSD suitable for servers (conservative updates, stability, performance) also make the operating system a good choice for desktop computers. Or, at least, FreeBSD could be a good desktop operating system with a few tweaks. That is the premise behind MidnightBSD, a desktop-oriented project that forked from FreeBSD. "MidnightBSD was forked from FreeBSD 6.1 beta. The system was forked to allow us to customize and integrate the environment including the ports and system configuration. We wish for the system to appeal to beginners as well as more experienced BSD users. Many operating systems are under active development; with MidnightBSD, we wish to focus on optimization and usability improvements for desktop users."

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Debian Jessie

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Reviews
Debian

I have now been using Debian for a few weeks and it is therefore time for me to write a review of my experience thus far.

Debian has been around for what seems like forever now and it is the base for so many other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint, SolydXK and Knoppix.

I think that the general consensus amongst Linux users is that Debian is stable, dependable and a good environment on which to build upon.

Does that mean it is suitable for Everyone?

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A month with Fedora 22 leaves me hungry for 23

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Reviews

Releases of the Fedora operating system, being the mostly regular six-monthly events that they are, do not usually find themselves worthy of note -- your average run-of-the-mill Fedora release can usually be summed up as: "Everything you had six months ago, only slightly better."

With Fedora 22, though, changes arrived thick and fast. The release's desktop environment got a new, flatter look; the package manager of choice changed; GCC was updated to the 5 series; and the next generation of display server inched towards general availability. While none of these changes alone should send the quality of the release into reverse, somewhere along the line, it hasn't all come together.

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China's best phone yet: Huawei P8 5.2-inch money-saving Android smartie

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Android
Reviews

The Huawei P8 represents the classiest and most capable Android from a Chinese manufacturer yet, and a strong advance from last year’s P7. The hardware design is superb and it has a terrific camera. The biggest differentiator is actually quite useful: the microSD slot doubles up as a SIM slot, too.

The stuttery performance and annoying popups that marred last year’s P7 have been banished. There’s a lot to like with thrown-in features like call blocking and security.

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NVIDIA SHIELD ANDROID TV REVIEW

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Reviews

Some of its biggest selling points include 4K and NVIDIA Grid support. If you love gaming, have a powerful rig with a robust NVIDIA GPU, and want to enjoy one of the best in class Android TV experiences, then the NVIDIA Shield Android TV is a sure bet. If you’re more of a casual gamer, then there are less expensive options, but if you want to have something that packs a wallop, streams your games, and is quite future proof, then we highly recommend it. Further, we’ve given it our highly coveted Editor’s Choice Award for being a rock solid Android TV device!

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Samsung Galaxy S6 -- Android at its finest [Review]

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Android
Reviews

Once again, consumers in the market for a new Android phone have tough decisions to make. While hardcore Android purists will understandably opt for the Nexus 6 to get fast updates and greater tinker capabilities, the Galaxy S6 is the better choice for all others. It is a more well-rounded experience.

Samsung has crafted a phone that is not only a piece of art, but is a comfortable size and has superior security with biometrics. The fingerprint reader is more important than having the ability to run custom ROMS. In 2015, there is no excuse for any flagship smartphone to ship without a fingerprint scanner.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is Android at its finest. Highly recommended.

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24-hours with the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition: I’m going to need some time to adjust

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Reviews
Ubuntu

On first impressions, it feels more similar to Amazon’s Fire Phone than a straightforward Android phone in the way it presents information. I’m interested to see how the scopes work out over time though, so check back for a full review in the coming weeks.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • OpenMake Software turns its ARA solution into open-source offering
    OpenMake Software wants to improve how developers use the Continuous Delivery pipeline with its recently open-sourced Application Release Automation (ARA) solution, Release Engineer, which is based on version 7.7 of the ARA solution and offered under the FreeBSD license.
  • Open source needs social freedoms for business to thrive
    When open source was first introduced in 1991 with Linux, it was considered a novelty in the industry, a new toy for developers to play with. Today, it’s a fundamental driver of technology innovation across all software companies, according to Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief open source officer at VMware Inc. “Open source is more than software development methodology; open source is how a group of people interact and how you create fantastic technology,” said Hohndel.
  • Facing down copyright claims, Doom roguelike fan game goes open-source (correction)
  • Doom-inspired roguelike goes open-source in a bid to outrun Zenimax lawyers
    Last week news broke that Zenimax is threatening legal action against the developer of DoomRL, a free Doom-inspired roguelike. Now, DoomRL's creator is open-sourcing it in an attempt to put it beyond the reach of Zenimax's legal team. Many devs will probably appreciate the symbolic resonance of this move, given that id Software open-sourced the original Doom code almost twenty years ago.
  • 6 organizational growing pains you can avoid
    Everything has a season, and as organizations age—communities, charities, companies, churches and more—they face similar diseases of time. These are emergent patterns of failure that arise not from mistakes but from the consequences of earlier success. In open source, we are seeing the same patterns emerge; this should not be a surprise. Some of them are unavoidable. Understanding them helps leaders reduce the risk that will arise and helps identify them when they do. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we have encountered all of these modes of systemic failure, some of them often.
  • Spark and Hadoop Training Can Lead to Top Job Prospects
    In the tech job market race these days, hardly any trend is drawing more attention than Big Data. And, when talking Big Data, the subject of Hadoop inevitably comes up, but Spark is becoming an increasingly popular topic. IBM and other companies have made huge commitments to Spark, and workers who have both Hadoop and Spark skills are much in demand.With all this in mind, several providers are offering free Hadoop and Spark training.
  • Michael Meeks: 2016-12-08 Thursday.
    Mail chew; really encouraged to see Kolab's lovely integration with Collabora Online announced and available for purchase. Wonderful to have them getting involved with LibreOffice, doing testing, filing and triaging bugs up-stream and so on, not to mention the polished marketing.
  • LibreOffice Goes Online
    Well, Meeks and company have done it. What was at first a rather limited demonstration of LibreOffice running in a browser window is now available as a Docker image for everyone to try out. I haven’t yet, because I’m under the weather with yet another winter cold, but that shouldn’t delay you.
  • Tullett and Quaternion partner CU FinTech Lab on open source risk project
    Frank Desmond, CEO at TPI, says: “Quaternion’s open source risk framework is of huge value to the academic community, facilitating research into the fundamental drivers of financial markets. Our data, Quaternion’s innovative approach and Columbia University’s research will provide the financial markets with more clarity on risk."
  • Integral Ad Science Launches Open Source SDK For Mobile Viewability Measurement
    IAS worked on the SDK with support from Ansible, Google, InMobi, Lenovo, the Media Rating Council (MRC), and other firms. The goal is to bring more transparency and interoperability for mobile viewability measurement to publishers, marketers, and agencies.
  • Innovate Your Holiday Celebrations With Our Open Source Guide to Festivity
    Kate McKinnon’s got the right idea. In the spirit of “open source” sharing and collaboration, Slate’s holiday coverage this month will be an enthusiastic invitation to good-willed appropriation. In the weeks remaining until the new year, we’ll present a series of recommendations for the best traditions we know of, with an eye toward the specific, the peculiar, and the surprising—at least to non-adepts. We hope you’ll take one (or all!) of them, and incorporate it into your own celebrations. Consider it our gift to you. Happy holidays!

Devices/Mobile

  • AsteroidOS is an Open Source OS for Smartwatches
    Florent Revest is a French computer science student who has been working on an open source operating system for smartwatches for the last two years. Yesterday, he officially launched version 1 of the alpha for AsteroidOS. The goal for the platform was to create something that gave smartwatch owners more control over their privacy, as well as the hardware they purchased. Florent feels that the current proprietary platforms do not guarantee this, and this was the basis for AsteroidOS. He wanted his open source smartwatch operating system to provide freedom with free software, more privacy than other wearable platforms offer, interoperability so it could communicate with other devices, modularity that enabled the user to tweak and change the OS as they see fit, the ability to port the software to as many devices as possible, and gathering a community who is passionate about the platform.
  • AsteroidOS Brings Open Source Functionality To Smartwatches
    Smartwatches may not have taken off like companies were hoping, but they have come quite far in terms of what they can offer and what sorts of features are available for the many different models of smartwatches that are out there. Even with the updated functionality of options like Samsung’s Gear S lineup and Android Wear platforms, though, smartwatches can still feel a little bit limiting, and part of this undoubtedly includes the reason that the operating systems aren’t as open as platforms like Android. That is now changing thanks to a platform called AsteroidOS which is an open source operating system for smartwatches.
  • Mini Apollo Lake module takes the heat — and the cold
    Congatec’s “Conga-MA5” is a Linux-ready COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini module with Apollo Lake SoCs, up to 128GB eMMC 5.1, and -40 to 85°C support. Congatec was one of the first embedded vendors to announce computer-on-modules based on Intel’s Atom E3900 and other Apollo Lake Pentium and Celeron SoCs. The offerings included a Qseven module, a SMARC 2.0 module, and a COM Express Compact Type 6 Conga-TCA5. The company has now followed up with a COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini Conga-MA5 module.
  • Top 20 Best Tizen Apps for November 2016, Tizen Smartphone
  • Smartphone game: Indian Football League game comes to the Tizen Store

Security News

Red Hat and Fedora

Technical
  • Red Hat Takes OpenShift Dedicated to Google Cloud Platform
    Red Hat has steadily taken significant steps in the cloud computing arena, expanding the focus of its OpenShift open source Platform-as-a-Service hybrid cloud computing offering, including launching a cloud-hosted commercial edition called OpenShift Online. Now, the company has announced the availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform. The new offering brings Red Hat’s container platform as a managed service offering to enterprise customers who want to build, launch, and manage applications on OpenShift Dedicated with Google Cloud Platform as their underlying cloud infrastructure. With the availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform, users can speed adoption of containers, Kubernetes, and cloud-native application patterns, according to Red Hat. Users also get access to Google’s global, container-optimized infrastructure and can more easily augment their applications with Google’s ecosystem of data analytics, machine learning, compute, network, and storage services.
  • Red Hat Launches OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform
    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform. The new offering brings Red Hat’s award-winning container platform as a managed service offering to enterprise customers who want to build, launch, and manage applications on OpenShift Dedicated with Google Cloud Platform as their underlying cloud infrastructure. With the availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform, users can speed adoption of containers, Kubernetes, and cloud-native application patterns, benefiting from Red Hat’s deep enterprise experience. Users also benefit from Google’s global, container-optimized infrastructure and can more easily augment their applications with Google’s ecosystem of data analytics, machine learning, compute, network, and storage services.
  • Image Gallery: Synnex Cloud Catalyst Conference Featuring Red Hat, XMedius, Plantronics
Financial Fedora/Community
  • Fedora 23 End of Life
    With the recent release of Fedora 25, Fedora 23 will officially enter End Of Life (EOL) status on December 20th, 2016. After December 20th, all packages in the Fedora 23 repositories will no longer receive security, bugfix, or enhancement updates, and no new packages will be added to the Fedora 23 collection. Upgrading to Fedora 24 or Fedora 25 before December 20th 2016 is highly recommended for all users still running Fedora 23.
  • What Is Wayland and What Does It Means for Linux Users
    Fedora 25 is now out. People are buzzing, as the team have decided to make Wayland the default graphical session going forward. For many Linux users Wayland is a new term that has popped up, but one that they do not understand. In this article we’ll briefly go over what Wayland is, what it does, and why developers are flocking to it in droves! What exactly is Wayland? Let’s find out!
  • Korora 25 is Ready
    The Korora Project has released version 25 (codename "Gurgle") which is now available for download. As usual, you can find a list of already known problems at the common F25 bugs page.
  • Fedora Design Interns Update
  • Holiday Break 2016.
    It’s sad I don’t get more time to post here these days. Being a manager is a pretty busy job, although I have no complaints! It’s enjoyable, and fortunately I have one of the best teams imaginable to work with, the Fedora Engineering team.