You can help two birds with one donation this holiday season. The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and other open-source collaborative development projects such as OpenDaylight, announced its 2013 Holiday Individual Membership Drive. In it, the group will donate $25 to the World Wildlife Fund for emperor penguins for every new member who joins, today through 11:59 PM. PT on December 10, 2013.
Blimey, it's been a long time since I reviewed antiX already and it's about time to give it a second look. The overall judgement may have been a bit harsh last time around and I'm going to see whether we can write a more positive piece this time. Some of the issues raised seems were valid though as the distribution has changed a bit since then. Enough of that, let's hop right in.
Recon Instruments announced an Android-based $399 heads-up display (HUD) designed to fit inside ski goggles. The Snow2 is equipped with a 1GHz, dual-core processor, a 428 x 240 mini-display, plus WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and sensors, and it syncs to Android and iOS devices.
There's been work on Weston to support run-time switchable renderers for Weston. That's now been accomplished and with the latest Git code it's easy to switch from Pixman to the OpenGL renderer. The debug binding of "mod-shift-space W" will now cause the compositor to switch from using the software-based Pixman renderer to the OpenGL renderer. This key-bind renderer switching is useful for debugging, stressing the run-time switchable renderer support, and there's cases where the OpenGL renderer isn't used right away by Weston since the Pixman renderer is able to start-up more quickly.
Boston Limited has announced a new server based on ARM processors and certified to run Ubuntu Linux 13.10, a move that could further stir up growing interest in ARM servers.
After many years of using traditional desktop environments like Gnome 2 and KDE and XFCE, I recently spent a few months with Ubuntu 13.04. Overall, my experience with the Unity desktop was fairly positive after I tweaked and configured it to my liking. Since then, I’m using a different non-Ubuntu based distribution, so I’m currently using Mate 1.6. Probably the feature that I most miss from Unity is the launcher. Frankly, I’m surprised that the Unity launcher was so useful and intuitive for me, since I have never been particularly fond of keyboard navigation. Although I still don’t use the keyboard much for window management or within the applications, now that I’m back on Mate I find myself really missing the convenience of searching and launching both apps and files from one unified interface with just a few keywords. With the online results all disabled, Unity’s launcher learns from the user’s habits and quickly becomes uncannily accurate at suggesting relevant local files and applications based on a few letters of input. It really did significantly add to my productivity. The only problem is that the Unity desktop environment, apart from its launcher, is not what everyone wants in a desktop. Additionally, despite a few efforts to port it to other distributions with varying degrees of success, Unity continues to be an option almost exclusively for Ubuntu based systems. So, what other options are available for users who want a launcher like Unity’s, but in a different desktop environment and/or distribution? That’s what I set to find out.
Siemens announced to the world this morning Jailhouse, a Linux-based partitioning hypervisor. Jailhouse is a lighter weight alternative to KVM but still in early development stages.
AMD unveiled the Radeon R9 290 graphics card at the beginning of November as one step down from the new flagship Radeon R9 290X graphics card. Numerous Windows reviews praised the graphics card for its great performance, but what wasn't clear at the time was how the Linux performance and compatibility was for this new $399 USD graphics card. AMD hadn't offered any review samples to Phoronix for conducting any Linux-based testing and benchmarking, but it's more clear now why that didn't happen: the Linux performance isn't stellar. I bought an XFX Radeon R9 290 and now there's many Linux benchmarks coming out of this graphics card that's riddled by what might be driver issues. I already regret having purchased the AMD Radeon R9 290 for use on Linux; the graphics card is hot, power hungry, noisy, and the OpenGL results aren't too good.
The company recently updated its watch to improve notification support — a major issue for many reviewers — and says it plans to expand sales promotions for the holiday season in order to boost sales further. Samsung is also looking to expand the number of (Samsung) devices that can interface with the Gear; at launch, the smartwatch was limited to just one smartphone, the Galaxy Note III, but is now also compatible with the company's bestselling Galaxy S 4.
Viber Desktop is now also available on Linux, in addition to Windows and Mac platforms.