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Chromebooks Gain Important Features, Appear to Be Here to Stay

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GNU
Linux
Google

Part of what's driving Chromebooks forward is that Google is on a rapid release cycle with Chrome OS. And, very importantly, Google has relaxed the fiercely cloud-centric vision it originally had for Chrome OS, so that applications for Chromebooks can be used offline.

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Google Open-Sources Their AutoFDO Profile Toolchain

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Google
OSS

Google has open-sourced their toolchain for providing automatic feedback-directed optimizations from perf data profiles to what can be used by GCC and LLVM.

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New Intel powered Chromebooks to feature Bay Trail chipset

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Linux
Google

A plethora of new Intel-powered Chrome OS devices were announces at a press conference hosted Wednesday by tech giant Google and chip manufacturer Intel. The event, which featured Caesar Sengupta from Google, and Navin Shenoy, vice president and general manager of mobile computing at Intel, announced, among other things, Chromebooks powered by Intel’s low-energy Bay Trail chipset, which will enable the lightweight computers running the Linux-based, web-centric operating system from Google to reportedly have 11 hours of battery life. Other devices announced include Intel’s Haswell and Core i3 chips.

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LG Chromebase will be available May 26th

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Linux
Google

The LG Chromebase, the first all-in-one Chrome OS PC, has been announced to be made available to US customers on May 26. With 2 GB of memory, a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), and a dual-core Intel Haswell CPU, LG has followed the usual specifications found on most Chromebooks. For those unfamiliar with Chromebooks, these specifications would probably be seem insufficient. However, what makes Chromebooks and the Chromebase stand out, is that they run Google‘s Chrome OS. Chrome OS is based upon Linux, so is very light and does not need many resources. In addition, since it only runs internet applications, it does not need many resources.

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For Better and for Worse, Chromebooks Have Become PCs

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GNU
Linux
Google

Chromebooks are no longer a small, focused selection of purpose-built machines, but a sprawling array of increasingly meaningless choices.

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Chromebook space heating up: Asus launches two models

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GNU
Linux
Google

Another day, another two new Chromebooks get unwrapped. Hot on the heals of Lenovo's announcement of the N20 and N20p Chromebooks, Asus unveils the C200 and C300. The new Chromebooks come in two sizes and promise battery life of 10 hours.

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Google and Intel team up to give Chromebooks more power

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Google

Probably the biggest thing missing from Intel's announcements today were any Chromebooks that have a larger or higher-quality screen — most Chromebooks remain stuck with 11-inch screens and relatively low resolutions. Samsung's new Chromebook may run the less powerful Exynos processor, but it also features a 13-inch, 1080p screen — it seems that Chrome consumers will still need to choose between power and a quality screen for the time being. As always, Intel, Google, and its OEM partners said they'll continue to innovate on the hardware front, even though these Chromebooks are pretty similar design-wise to earlier models. "As users do more with Chrome, they'll expect more from the hardware that surrounds it," said Google VP Caesar Sengupta.

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Lenovo Doubles Down with Consumer-Focused Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
Google

While Lenovo is pitching its new Chromebooks at consumers, it's likely that they'll be popular in school systems--especially the less expensive N20 model. School systems around the U.S. are purchasing Chromebooks for students, a trend that Google could subsidize and one that is reminiscent of Apple's strong focus on the education market from years ago. Westwood High School in Massachussetts is buying Chromebooks to issue to students who will return them once they graduate. The Bell-Chatham school board has approved Chromebook purchases for students, as has the Sumner School District.

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Asus Chromebox with Core i3 Haswell now available

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Linux
Google

Asus started selling its first Chrome OS desktop computers in March with the launch of the $179 Asus Chromebox M005U. The tiny desktop is small enough to hold in one hand, packs an Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and Google’s Chrome operating system.

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Google, Intel to make Chromebook announcement on May 6

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GNU
Linux
Google

One theory is that a new Chromebook Pixel will be announced, as the current model utilizes a Intel Core i5, the most powerful of any Chromebook. The Pixel hasn’t been changed since its release last February, and it could be time for Google to refresh its crown jewel, high-end Chromebook. Another collaboration with Intel could bring more power to the Chromebook line and make Chromebooks more appealing for resource-hungry users.

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Can Jolla Deliver the First Open Source Tablet?

Some dreams die hard. After the KDE-based Vivaldi tablet failed to appear after three years of anticipation, Jolla is planning a free software tablet of its own. The product is off to a roaring start, having just raised $1,824,055 in its crowdfunding campaign-- almost five times the original target. So, this time, we might actually see some hardware. Mind you, whether the tablet will satisfy everyone remains open to doubt. Although Jolla is talking loudly about being "people powered" and listening to want users want, some requests, especially for hardware, may be impossible to fulfill. The manufacturing capacity of advanced features is limited world-wide, and monopolized by large companies like Apple and Samsung. More importantly, exactly how free the tablet will be has yet to be announced. Read more

First Ubuntu Phone Will Launch In Europe This February

The first Ubuntu Phone will go on sale in Europe in the second week of February. Read more

Sandia looks to open-source robot tech

Researchers at federal defense and energy laboratories are open sourcing some of the electronics and software for two advanced ambulatory robots in hopes of boosting their ability to handle perilous situations. In a Dec. 16 announcement, the Energy Department's Sandia National Laboratories said it is developing more energy-efficient motors to dramatically improve the endurance of legged robots performing the types of motions that are crucial in disaster response situations. The project is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Read more

Google releases open-source Java SDK for Cloud Dataflow service to form data pipelines

It’s been a long, long time since Google came up with the foundational technologies for storing and processing big data. This year, the company developed a new tool for working with data as it comes in, and now Google is keen to see people use it. Read more