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Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police

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Android
Google
Mac

The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones.

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device's password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

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Google's Chrome Strategy Heads in New Directions, Draws Linux Comparisons

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Linux
Google

Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system are grabbing headlines this week for several reasons. As Susan reported here, Matt Hartley said recently, 'Anyone who believes Google isn't making a play for desktop users isn't paying attention.' Hartley favors putting Linux in front of a lot of potential Chrome OS users, and says "I consider ChromeOS to be a forked operating system that uses the Linux kernel under the hood."

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ChromeOS vs Linux: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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OS
Google

Anyone who believes Google isn't "making a play" for desktop users isn't paying attention. In recent years, I've seen ChromeOS making quite a splash on the Google Chromebook. Exploding with popularity on sites such as Amazon.com, it looks as if ChromeOS could be unstoppable.

In this article, I'm going to look at ChromeOS as a concept to market, how it's affecting Linux adoption and whether or not it's a good/bad thing for the Linux community as a whole. Plus, I'll talk about the biggest issue of all and how no one is doing anything about it.

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With Android One, Google puts itself firmly back in the OS' driving seat

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Android
Google

Under Android One, Google has developed its reference hardware designs — meaning OEMs no longer have to develop and test their own smartphones; they just pick up Google's ready-to-wear versions and get manufacturing. Google already has three local Indian smartphone makers signed up to do just that — Karbonn, Spice, and Micromax — all soon be be selling Google-designed, Android One-powered devices for around $100.

Android One uses a stock version of Android, as seen on its Nexus products — meaning no UI customisation is possible — but Google has graciously offered to let OEMs and mobile operators add their own apps to handsets running the OS. The operators don't seem to mind the disintermediation much, and have teamed up with Google to launch Android One mobile plans to coincide with the launch of the new phones.

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Google reveals the first ultra-cheap Android One smartphones

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Android
Google

Google has unveiled the first smartphones to run on its Android One platform, a standard designed to help push affordable smartphones in the developing world. The initiative kicks off in India, where Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn are all selling phones with 4.5-inch screens, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel main and 2-megapixel front cameras, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processors, dual-SIM slots, microSD expandable storage, and FM radios.

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Enjoy Five Gorgeous Linux Desktops from the Google+ Community

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Linux
Google

Linux is a very customizable ecosystem and this is one of the main features of the open source world, the possibility to do almost anything you want with your OS. Every Friday, the Linux community shows its desktops on Google+, so we picked up a few of the most interesting to share with everyone.

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Android apps start coming to Google Chrome OS

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Android
Google

During the I/O summit in June Sundar Pichai of Google said that soon Android apps would come to Chrome OS – bringing the two operating system closer and also bridge the app-gap.

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Google's About-To-Launch Android One Smartphones Could Further Its Dominance In Emerging Markets

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Android
Google

Google will reveal the first of its series of low-cost phones under the much-awaited Android One, an initiative through which it provides a key set of references for hardware to help device manufacturers make low-cost phones. The phones will be unveiled by Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps in New Delhi on Sept 15.

India is a natural launching ground for the platform that Google eventually wants to take to other economies. The country is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market where millions of users are making the transition from low-end feature phones to more sophisticated devices. This market opportunity in India and other emerging economies is widely referred to as the ‘next billion’.

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Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps

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Android
Google

To help bridge the gap between its two mobile platforms, Google has released a beta version of a technology that allows Chrome OS users to run Android apps on their desktops.

Google OS boss Sundar Pichai first previewed the tech in March, during one of the less buzzed-about segments of his I/O conference keynote.

Dubbed the App Runtime for Chrome, it's a way of packaging Android apps so that they will launch and run on Chrome OS, via a special runtime implemented using the Chocolate Factory's Native Client (NaCl) in-browser binary execution tech.

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Former Red Hat executive Brian Stevens lands at Google

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Red Hat
Google

While not officially announced yet, Stevens' LinkedIn profile lists his new title. Under Steven's guidance, Red Hat became a major OpenStack power and led the way to bringing Docker containers to Red Hat.

At Google, Stevens will use his abilities to bring Google’s Compute Engine (GCE) to the forefront of the enterprise cloud. While GCE's not based on OpenStack, it's otherwise a natural next step for Stevens.

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Pro tip: Find tons of open-source Android software with F-Droid

If you're looking for truly open-source software for the Android platform, you don't have to do a ton of searching or check through licenses from within the Google Play Store. All you have to do is download a simple tool called F-Droid. With this tool, you can download and install apps (from quite a large listing) as easily as you can from the Google Play Store. You won't, however, find F-Droid in the Google Play Store. Instead, you have to download the .apk file and install it manually. Once it's installed, the rest is just a matter of searching for an app and tapping to install. Read more

Librem 15 Linux Laptop Set To Close At Around $400k USD

The manufacturing goal was $250k USD and thanks to the extension they're now set to close the campaign at the end of today at around $400k. With the extra funds, they're planning to add hardware kill switches for the microphone/camera and for all RF/WiFI/Bluetooth adapters. Those behind the project are also looking at replacing the HDMI port with two mini Thunderbolt ports. Read more