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Chromebook sales to nearly triple by 2017

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GNU
Linux
Google

Google's Chromebook might not be setting the consumer world on fire yet but its stocks are set to rise, with new research predicting sales of Chromebooks will reach 5.2 million units in 2014, a 79% increase from 2013,

By 2017, sales of Chromebooks are set to nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units, with the main driver being the US education market, which currently accounts for nearly 85% of all sales.

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Hidden Linux Benefits, Clear Linux Challenges

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GNU
Linux

I have tried and enjoyed a number of great Linux distributions over the years. Some were more popular than others. But the one thing they all have in common is each provides the end user with hidden benefits and unexpected disadvantages over proprietary desktop operating systems.

In this article, I'll explore what make the Linux desktop a superb fit for some users while providing thoughts on overcoming the challenges had by others.

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Is Linux More Secure than Windows?

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Security

When it comes to control systems, a common question has long been: Is Linux inherently more secure than Windows? Being a fan of Linux/Unix systems, I desperately want to answer “yes” to this question. During the 1980s and 1990s, so much of the work I was involved in ran under Unix. These days I run Linux on my home computer, and once a year I boot up a Windows XP virtual machine running under Virtual Box, to run my tax software. In the office, I rant about the lousy Windows operating system (OS) and ask why the world doesn’t switch to Linux. And as much as I hate to admit it, as a system integrator I am mostly locked into dealing with Microsoft’s flavor of the month operating system because of customer standards and the tools available.

From the appearance of “Brain,” which is recognized as the first computer virus, in 1986, to Stuxnet to the Zotob worm (the virus that knocked 13 of DaimlerChrysler’s U.S. automobile manufacturing plants offline), one thing all these viruses have in common is that they were directed at Microsoft’s operating systems. However, according to Zone-H (an archive of defaced websites), in a statistics report for the period 2005-2007: “In the past the most attacked operating system was Windows, but many servers were migrated from Windows to Linux… Therefore the attacks migrated as well, as Linux is now the most attacked operating system with 1, 485,280 defacements against 815,119 in Windows systems (numbers calculated since 2000).”

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The First Beta Version Of Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Has Been Officially Released

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

The first beta version of Elementary OS 0.3 Freya, based on Ubuntu 14.04.1 Trusty Tahr LTS, has been officially released, using Kernel 3.13 and the drivers and graphics stack of Ubuntu 14.04. Also, it has support for UEFI and the developers say that the Ubiquity installer for Mac computer will be available until the final release of Freya.

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Acer's new Chromebook 13 offers a high-resolution screen and all-day battery life

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GNU
Linux
Google

Nvidia is touting the graphical performance of its K1 processor, which outperforms the Intel and Samsung-equipped Chromebooks in Nvidia's multitasking and benchmark tests. The company points to the quad-core processor design (most Chromebooks have only dual-core processors) and more powerful graphics processing unit as differentiators in the Chromebook world. Demos of the 3D rendering capabilities were impressive in person, and Nvidia's multitasking demo (which comprised of four open windows, streaming music, and running a script in a Google Sheet) did show the Chromebook 13 to be faster than an Intel-equipped model. Despite these impressive performance feats, Nvidia is confident that the Chromebook 13 will last longer away from a wall outlet than any other Chromebook on the market. It is also Google Hangouts Optimized, which allows for high definition Hangouts and multitasking at the same time.

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Richard Stallman - "Free Software and Your Freedom" (Montreal, Canada)

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GNU

The Free Software Movement campaigns for computer users' freedom to cooperate and control their own computing. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, typically used together with the kernel Linux, specifically to make these freedoms possible.
Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is free of charge, and the public is encouraged to attend.

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'Naked PCs' lay bare Microsoft's emerging markets problem

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

The result is that up to 60 percent of PCs shipped in the emerging markets of Asia, says IDC research manager Handoko Andi, have no Windows operating system pre-installed - so-called 'naked PCs', which usually instead carry some free, open source operating system like Linux. That compares with about 25 percent in the region's developed markets like Japan and Australia.

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Six Clicks: The best Chromebooks for school

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GNU
Linux
Google

Chromebooks have proven to be wildly popular in schools. More than a million Chromebooks were sold to schools this spring alone.

For schools, Chromebook math is easy. In Google's Chromebooks for Education program, each device can cost as little as $279 and they're easy to manage from a centralized console. For school districts the real killer feature is this: If they buy through the Google program and a Chromebook stops working, Google just replaces it for no additional cost.

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Introduction to Linux

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GNU
Linux
HowTos

Linux powers 94% of the world’s supercomputers, most of the servers powering the Internet, the majority of financial trades worldwide and a billion Android devices. In short, Linux is everywhere. It appears in many different architectures, from mainframes to server to desktop to mobile and on a staggeringly wide variety of hardware.

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GUN Linux: On the range with TrackingPoint’s new AR-15s

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GNU
Linux

Since first running into TrackingPoint at CES 2013, we’ve kept tabs on the Austin-based company and its Linux-powered rifles, which it collectively calls "Precision Guided Firearms," or PGFs. We got to spend a few hours on the range with TrackingPoint’s first round of near-production bolt-action weapons last March, when my photojournalist buddy Steven Michael nailed a target at 1,008 yards—about 0.91 kilometers—on his first try, in spite of never having fired a rifle before.

But big, heavy, bolt-action rifles were only the beginning, with the underlying idea being that the company would scale its weapons both up and also down in size. And, last month, we day tripped back out to the Best of the West range just outside of Austin in Liberty Hill to lay hands on TrackingPoint’s newest set of PGFs, the TP AR 556 and TP AR 762. Unlike the big XS-series long rifles we fired last time, these newest PGFs are semiautomatic carbines—the type of weapon that the media usually (and incorrectly) refers to as "assault rifles."

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today's leftovers

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Company of Heroes 2 Might Be Coming Out For Linux
    While last year developers on the Company of Heroes 2 game said a Linux port was unlikely, recent Steam activity indicates that a Linux port is likely in the works. Company of Heroes 2 is a World War II set real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and sequel to the original Company of Heroes game. The Company of Heroes 2 title is powered by the Essence 3.0 Game Engine, which is proprietary to Relic Entertainment, uses a DirectX renderer, and designed around Windows. Company of Heroes 2 was released last summer for Microsoft Windows and is available on Steam.
  • Metro 2033 Redux Will Hopefully Hit Linux Real Soon
  • Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth for Linux No Longer Has a Release Date
    Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the next game in the Civilization series developed by Firaxis, no longer has a Linux launch date. When 2K Games and Firaxis announced that the upcoming Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth launch will also include a Linux version, gamers were ecstatic. This was supposed to be the silver bullet for the Linux platform, but it looks like we're going to be skipped.
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth for Mac has been postponed indefinitely
  • SteamOS Beta 133 Released
    Besides the normal security fixes, this release features a newer Linux kernel (no specifics) that boasts more network drivers and better Intel graphics performance. On top of that this release also features the Nvidia 340.32 drivers which fixes some of the white screen bugs when switching between modes.
  • SteamOS Update 133 Has Better Intel Performance, VA-API
    Valve released this morning the 133 update to the SteamOS Alchemist Beta. With this update comes new packages and other updates.
  • Crystal Picnic, A Colourful 2D RPG Released
    Crystal Picnic is a lighthearted and colourful tribute to the classic era of action RPGs! Join a sarcastic gardener and a wannabe knight as they journey across the kingdom chasing after ants who stole magic crystals from the castle. Oh, and did we mention the ants have gone mad because they're EATING those crystals? Yeah, that makes things much more unpredictable! Hours of exploration, mesmerizing platform-style combat, plenty of new friends to meet and loads of wacky enemies to encounter. When you fight chubby birds and ants carrying bazookas, you know you're in for a good time!
  • Metro 2033 Redux Shows Up in the Steam for Linux Database
    Metro 2033 Redux, a remake of the original Metro 2033 FPS released back in 2010, will be getting a Linux release on Steam for Linux. The developers from 4A Games have reworked the original title and they have introduced high resolution textures and new effects. In addition to that, they have reworked a number of gameplay aspects too. All of these have been done to get the game ready for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They didn't ignored the PC, and Steam users will also be able to enjoy the game in a new coat.
  • Team Fortress 2 Receives Update with Important Balancing Changes

Linux on the desktop isn't dead

At LinuxCon this year, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was asked what he wanted for Linux. His response? "The desktop." For years, the call to Linux action was "World Domination." In certain markets, this has happened (think Linux helping to power Android and Chrome OS). On the desktop, however, Linux still has a long, long way to go. Wait... that came out wrong. I don't mean "Linux has a long, long way to go before it's ready for the desktop." What I meant to say is something more akin to "Linux is, in fact, desktop ready... it just hasn't found an inroad to the average consumer desktop." Read more