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Review: Google’s Wear OS 2.0 can’t fix its obsolete smartwatch hardware

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OS
Google
Reviews

Google's major Wear OS revamp is out today, and soon it will arrive on most devices released in the past year and a half (although Ars has already spent a week with a pre-release version of the OS). In the face of relentless competition from the Apple Watch Series 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch, Google's most obvious change in the new Wear OS is a new UI for most of the main screens. There's not much in the way of new functionality or features, but everything is laid out better.

Google hasn't done much to publicize the actual name of this release, but it identifies the update as "Wear OS 2.0" on the "About" page, so we're calling it that. Don't confuse "Wear OS 2.0" with "Android Wear 2.0," though, because the latter launched in 2017. When the name change from "Android Wear" to "Wear OS" happened, the version numbers reset. Android Wear started at "1.0" and made it all the way to "2.9;" Wear OS then started over at "1.0" and counted back up to "2.0." Continuing the old version numbers would have made things a lot easier: Google and terrible branding—name a more iconic duo.

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Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU1

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OS
  • Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU1

    Today we're releasing the first SRU for Oracle Solaris 11.4! This is the next installment in our ongoing support train for Oracle Solaris 11 and there will be no further Oracle Solairs 11.3 SRUs delivered to the support repository. Due to the timing of our releases and some fixes being in Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU35 but not in 11.4, not all customers on Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU35 were able to update to Oracle Solaris 11.4 when it was released. SRU1 includes all these fixes and customers can now update to Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU1 via 'pkg update' from the support repository or by downloading the SRU from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2433412.1.

  • Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU1 Released

    It's been just under one month since Oracle's long-awaited debut of Solaris 11.4 and now its first stable release update has been issued.

    Solaris 11.4 SRU1 is mainly intended to fix some early bugs and those that didn't make the cut for getting in the initial 11.4 release. One new feature is support for "Memory Reservation Pools for Kernel Zones" to help systems with high levels of memory contention or fragmented memory by allowing memory to be reserved ahead of time.

Open-source alt-droid wants to know if it's still leaking data to Google

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OS
Android

/e/, a Google-free fork of Android, reached a milestone this month with its initial ROM release. It's available for download, so you can kick the tires, with nightly builds delivered via OTA (over the air) updates.

El Reg interviewed the project's leader, Gael Duval, in the summer. Duval launched and led the Linux Mandrake project. Back then it was called "eelo", but has morphed into just /e/ – which autocorrect features won't try to turn into "eels".

The project is significant in that the European Commission recently noted how few people switch platforms. If you're on Apple or Android today, the chances are you will be on the same platform, plugged into the same "ecosystem" of peripherals and services, in 10 years. So it wants more variety and competition within the Android world.

/e/ derives from LineageOS, itself a fork of CynaogenMod, so it can run on around 30 phone models including the Samsung Galaxy S7, and several recent-ish OnePlus devices.

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Ubuntu-based elementary OS 5.0 'Juno' Beta 2 Linux distro now available

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Ubuntu

Why don’t more desktop computer users use Linux? Well, software compatibility aside, there is fear of change and the unknown. For a user to switch from Windows, it must be a fairly simple affair. For years, just installing a Linux-based operating system was a daunting task. These days, it can be faster and easier than installing Windows 10 -- depending on distro, of course.

For beginners, once installed, their chosen Linux distro should be easy to use with an intuitive desktop environment. I'm a big fan of GNOME, but understandably, not all folks like it -- especially Linux novices. One particular Linux-based desktop operating system has been focusing on accessibility to all -- elementary OS. This distro is polished and aims to be easy to use for both experts and beginners alike. Today, version 5.0 of the OS -- called "Juno" -- reaches Beta 2. Impressively, there have been over 200 fixes implemented since Beta 1.

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KaOS Linux Gets the KDE Applications 18.08 Treatment, Latest Calamares Installer

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OS
KDE

KaOS 2018.08 is August 2018's ISO snapshot for the independently developed GNU/Linux distribution inspired by Arch Linux and built around the latest KDE technologies. It ships with the most recent KDE Applications 18.08.0 open-source software suite, as well aas the KDE Plasma 5.13.4 desktop environment and KDE Frameworks 5.49.0, all built on the Qt 5.11.1 framework.

"It is with great pleasure to present to you the August release of a new stable ISO. With almost 70 % percent of the packages updated since the last ISO and the last release being over two months old, a new ISO is more than due. No major changes this time to announce, as was with last ISO, just the usual large package movement," said the developers in the release announcement.

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Chrome OS 69 Finally Brings Linux Apps to Some Chromebooks, Night Light Feature

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OS

Chrome OS 69 is the first release of the Linux-based operating system that enables support for running Linux apps on Chromebooks. However, the Linux app support is still in development and it's presented to users in a beta form, available only on select devices due to hardware restrains. A complete list with the Chromebooks supporting Linux apps is available here.

"While we would like to be able to bring this work to all Chromebooks, the required kernel and hardware features limit where we can deploy this," says Google in the blog announcement. "A lot of features we use had to be backported, and the further back we go, the more difficult & risky it is to do so. We don't want to compromise system stability and security here."

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Privacy Focused Android Rom Without Google Functionality Based On LineageOS Enters Beta

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OS
Android

A few years back there were a lot mobile OS systems, we had Symbian, Blackberry OS and IOS among many others. Google entered the market with Android, although it wasn’t an instant hit, they gained huge momentum overtime.

Part of Android’s success was definitely due to its open source nature and the massive customisation it offered. Android somewhat bridged the gap between budget and premium smartphones at that time, because it enabled so many functions on budget devices, it was truly something back then.

With time Android became a behemoth in mobile OS, but along with that Google was also benefitted. The OS used Google Maps, Gmail, Chrome, Google Play, YouTube and a lot of other customary Google software. This meant huge AD revenues but also privacy concerns as it’s well known that Google can pull out a lot of usage data from Android devices.

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Also: iPhone to Android: The ultimate switching guide

Touch-enabled version of Raspberry Pi based Kano kit arrives

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OS
Hardware

Kano has launched a $280 “Computer Kit Touch” version of its Raspberry Pi based computing education kit with an RPi 3B, a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, plus a keyboard, speaker, mic, and 3000mAh battery.

Kano’s Raspberry Pi Model B based Kano kit computing education platform and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B based Kano Computer Kit were huge hits in both the educational and consumer markets. The company has now returned with a Computer Kit Touch version, which similarly aims to teach kids age 6 to 13 to program using visual tools and its Debian-based Kano OS.

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Sailfish OS "Nurmonjoki" Released and Eelo Beta

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OS
Gadgets
  • Sailfish OS Nurmonjoki is now available

    After a very warm summer here in Northern Europe, many well deserved holidays are taken and many sailors are now rested after a year of full-on work. Sailors that were on duty during the summer have however worked on the latest iteration of Sailfish OS updates for our beloved community! After much developing and testing, we are now ready to release Sailfish OS 2.2.1. Sailfish OS 2.2.1 is named after the river Nurmonjoki which is located 300km north of Helsinki, on south western part of Finland.

  • Sailfish OS "Nurmonjoki" Released For GDPR Compliance, App Updates

    While Jolla's Linux-based Sailfish OS mobile operating system hasn't turned out to be as great as many anticipated, today the Finnish company released Sailfish OS 2.2.1 under the Nurmonjoki codename.

  • /e/ first beta soon to be released

    Next week, on Tuesday or Wednesday, we will release the first beta of /e/ mobile OS.

    I will then describe choices that have been done, what’s in, what’s not in, what remains to do, what to test and how. And probably a challenge for testers.

    [...]

    Of course we cannot support the 17K+ known Android devices. As the /e/ ROM itself is forked from LineageOS we can build for all LOS 14.1 (Android Nougat) supported devices, and not yet for LOS 15 (Android Oreo) supported devices (work in progress).

DOSBox 0.74-2

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OS
OSS
  • DOSBox 0.74-2 has been released!
  • DOSBox 0.74-2 Released With Better Wine Compatibility, Linux OpenGL Fixes

    DOSBox, the DOS emulator used by Wine and also can be run directly on Linux / macOS / Windows / BSD systems, released version 0.74-2 at the end of August with some Wine compatibility improvements.

    DOSBox 0.74-2 is another maintenance release while DOSBox 0.75 will be coming soon with game fixes and other improvements. But for DOSBox 0.74-2 it's also notable for having the latest patches from the Wine project for improving compatibility, with Wine relying upon DOSBox for Virtual 8086 Mode and other DOS functionality.

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More in Tux Machines

Themes With Emphasis on GTK/GNOME

  • Stylish Gtk Themes Makes Your Linux Desktop Look Stylish
    There are plenty of nice themes available for Gnome desktop and many of them are in active development. Stylish theme pack is one of the great looking pack around since 2014 and constantly evolving. It offers stylish clean and flat design themes for Gtk-3 and Gtk-2, including Gnome shell themes. Stylish theme pack is based Materia theme and support almost every desktop environment such as Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, Mate, Budgie, Panteon, etc. We are offering Stylish themes via our PPA for Ubuntu/Linux Mint. If you are using distribution other than Ubuntu/Linux Mint then download this pack directly from its page and install it in this location "~/.themes" or "/usr/share/themes". Since Stylish theme pack is in active development that means if you encounter any kind of bug or issue with it then report it to get fixed in the next update.
  • Delft: Another Great Icon Pack In Town Forked From Faenza Icons
    In past, you may have used Faenza icon theme or you still have it set on your desktop. Delft icons are revived version of Faenza and forked from Faenza icon theme, maybe it is not right to say 'revived' because it looks little different from Faenza theme and at the same time it stays close to the original Faenza icons, it is released under license GNU General Public License V3. The theme was named after a dutch city, which is known for its history, its beauty, and Faenza in Italy. The author who is maintaining Delft icons saw that Faenza icons haven't been updated from some years and thought to carry this project. There are some icons adopted from the Obsidian icon theme. Delft icon pack offer many variants (Delft, Delft-Amber, Delft-Aqua, Delft-Blue, Delft-Dark, Delft-Gray, Delft-Green, Delft-Mint, Delft-Purple, Delft-Red, Delft-Teal) including light and dark versions for light/dark themes, you can choose appropriate one according to your desktop theme. These icons are compatible with most of the Linux desktop environments such as Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, Mate, Lxde, Xfce and others. Many application icons available in this icons pack and if you find any missing icon or want to include something in this icon pack or face any kind of bug then report it to creator.
  • Give Your Desktop A Sweet Outlook With Sweet Themes Give Your Desktop A Sweet Outlook With Sweet Themes
    It is feels bit difficult to describe this theme we are going to introduce here today. Sweet theme pack looks and feel very different on the desktop but at the same time make the Linux desktop elegant and eye catching. Maybe these are not perfect looking themes available but it lineup in the perfect theme queue. You may say, I don't like it in screenshots, let me tell you that you should install it on your system and if you don't like then you already have option to remove it. So there is no harm to try a new thing, maybe this is next best theme pack for your Linux desktop.

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Open-source hardware could defend against the next generation of hacking

Imagine you had a secret document you had to store away from prying eyes. And you have a choice: You could buy a safe made by a company that kept the workings of its locks secret. Or you could buy a safe whose manufacturer openly published the designs, letting everyone – including thieves – see how they’re made. Which would you choose? It might seem unexpected, but as an engineering professor, I’d pick the second option. The first one might be safe – but I simply don’t know. I’d have to take the company’s word for it. Maybe it’s a reputable company with a longstanding pedigree of quality, but I’d be betting my information’s security on the company upholding its traditions. By contrast, I can judge the security of the second safe for myself – or ask an expert to evaluate it. I’ll be better informed about how secure my safe is, and therefore more confident that my document is safe inside it. That’s the value of open-source technology. Read more