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Linux

How open sourcing Android made it a mobile market leader

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Android
Linux
OSS

About 10 years ago, when I got my first mobile phone, I hardly knew anything about its operating system or its processor. Even its screen size didn’t matter. I was just happy to have a 'mobile' phone.

Today, the mobile phone paradigm has shifted from feature phones to smart phones. When people consider purchasing a new mobile phone, they examine its operating system, its configuration, and its screen size. Increased attention to these details can be attributed to technological advancements—and, more importantly, to the slew of new mobile operating systems available today. In this highly competitive market, Android has obtained about 80 percent of the global market share, making it the clear leader among mobile operating systems.

What makes Android so popular? Why has the mobile market swung toward Android lately? Let's take a quick look at how Android has achieved this, as well as the role of open source in the Android story.

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Linux Foundation SysAdmin Eric Searcy Lives By Regex

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Eric Searcy is the IT Infrastructure Manager at the Linux Foundation. Here he tells us how he got started as a sysadmin and at the Linux Foundation, describes his typical day at work, and shares his favorite sysadmin tools, among other things.

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Raspberry Pi Model B+ review – a new evolution

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Linux
Reviews

Over the past two years we’ve come to really grow fond of the design of the Raspberry Pi. It’s almost iconic in a way, and we don’t think we’re the only ones to believe this: as you can have see with the Banana Pi review on the previous page the layout is almost identical to the standard model B.

With the brand new model B+, an enhanced version of the model B revision two, some of hardware has been relocated into a more logical and tidier layout. This is the first thing anyone will notice about the device and it’s probably got a lot to do with the new USB ports being very prominent and drawing a critical eye over the rest of the board.

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Chromebooks Emerge as Major New Linux Force on Notebooks

Filed under
Linux
Google

The Linux faithful have mixed opinions on the success of Google's Linux- and Chrome browser based Chrome OS. The lightweight OS came along years after Fedora, Ubuntu and other Linux distros, and shares relatively little of their mainstream Linux codebase. Some dismiss it as a limited, browser-only platform -- a complaint often applied to Firefox OS -- while others warn that Google is co-opting and subjugating Linux, a process already begun with Android.

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Raspberry Pi-based signage player sips 7 Watts

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Linux
Hardware

TinyGreenPC launched a Raspberry Pi and Linux based digital signage player that runs on just 7 Watts, and offers optional WiFi and an OPS interface.

The Pi Media Player is one of the most power-efficient signage players on the market, according to TinyGreenPC, a subsidiary of UK-based embedded manufacturer and distributor AndersDX. It helps that the 7 Watt, Raspian Linux-enabled signage player runs on a Raspberry Pi.

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Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN

Filed under
Development
Linux

Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project.

Boyan Ivanov, CEO, Boyan Krosnov, chief product officer, and Yank Yankulov, the chief tech officer, started the firm in November 2011 with $261,600 seed funding. In February this year they raised an undisclosed amount of cash in an A-round. We’d guess it’s in the $1m - $2.5m area.

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Linux Developers Jump Quickly On ACPI 5.1, Helps Out ARM

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM.

While accessing the ACPI/UEFI specifications still require jumping through some hoops, the ACPI 5.1 update is reported to fix major gaps in supporting ACPI on ARM. Hanjun Guo has already laid out patches for providing Linux ARM64 support compliant with the ACPI 5.1 specification. ACPI 5.1 has "major changes" to the MADT, FADT, GTDT, and _DSD for bettering up this non-x86 platform support.

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GOG.com Now Supports Linux!

Filed under
Linux
Gaming

A while ago, we've announced our plans to add Linux support as one of the features of our digital platform, with 100 games on the launch day sometime this fall. We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by, and absolutely no reason to wait until October or November. We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. It's not about them, after all, it's about you. So, one of the most popular site feature requests on our community wishlist is granted today: Linux support has officially arrived on GOG.com!

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Distro Watch: The Best Linux Distributions For 2014

Filed under
GNU
Linux

We’re halfway through 2014, and a handful of Linux distributions have already made a big splash in the community. Which distributions are the best ones for this year? Let’s take a look.

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Why Chromebook Sales Are Surging in Schools, Enterprises

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Chromebook sales have risen sharply over the past several months, according to a recent report from research firm NPD. Chromebook sales in the commercial channel increased 250 percent compared with the prior year and accounted for 35 percent of all U.S. channel notebook sales during the January-May period. Chromebooks, in other words, were extremely popular during the period and continue to be so. Exactly why and how Chromebooks have been achieving such sales success, however, are not so readily known. When the devices, which run Google's Chrome OS Web-based operating system, were first announced, many market observers believed that they had little chance of winning a significant share of the PC market. And that seemed to hold true in the first couple of years after Chromebooks hit the market in mid-2011. But the latest data shows that Chromebook sales are adding to the competitive headwinds that Windows notebooks are experiencing these days. This eWEEK slide show looks at the impact that rising Chromebook sales is having on the U.S. PC market.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Security Leftovers

  • Major Cloudflare bug leaked sensitive data from customers’ websites
    Cloudflare revealed a serious bug in its software today that caused sensitive data like passwords, cookies, authentication tokens to spill in plaintext from its customers’ websites. The announcement is a major blow for the content delivery network, which offers enhanced security and performance for more than 5 million websites. This could have allowed anyone who noticed the error to collect a variety of very personal information that is typically encrypted or obscured.
  • SHA1 collisions make Git vulnerable to attakcs by third-parties, not just repo maintainers
    After sitting through an endless flood of headless-chicken messages on multiple media about SHA-1 being fatally broken, I thought I'd do a quick writeup about what this actually means.
  • Torvalds patches git to mitigate against SHA-1 attacks
    Linux creator Linus Torvalds says two sets of patches have been posted for the distributed version control system git to mitigate against SHA-1 attacks which are based on the method that Dutch and Google engineers detailed last week. The post by Torvalds detailing this came after reports emerged of the version control system used by the WebKit browser engine repository becoming corrupted after the two proof-of-concept PDF files that were released by the Dutch and Google researchers were uploaded to the repository.
  • Linus Torvalds on "SHA1 collisions found"
  • More from Torvalds on SHA1 collisions
    I thought I'd write an update on git and SHA1, since the SHA1 collision attack was so prominently in the news. Quick overview first, with more in-depth explanation below: (1) First off - the sky isn't falling. There's a big difference between using a cryptographic hash for things like security signing, and using one for generating a "content identifier" for a content-addressable system like git. (2) Secondly, the nature of this particular SHA1 attack means that it's actually pretty easy to mitigate against, and there's already been two sets of patches posted for that mitigation. (3) And finally, there's actually a reasonably straightforward transition to some other hash that won't break the world - or even old git repositories.
  • [Older] Wire’s independent security review
    Ever since Wire launched end-to-end encryption and open sourced its apps one question has consistently popped up: “Is there an independent security review available?” Well, there is now!
  • Malware Lets a Drone Steal Data by Watching a Computer’s Blinking LED
  • FCC to halt rule that protects your private data from security breaches
    The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers' personal information. The data security rule is part of a broader privacy rulemaking implemented under former Chairman Tom Wheeler but opposed by the FCC's new Republican majority. The privacy order's data security obligations are scheduled to take effect on March 2, but Chairman Ajit Pai wants to prevent that from happening. The data security rule requires ISPs and phone companies to take "reasonable" steps to protect customers' information—such as Social Security numbers, financial and health information, and Web browsing data—from theft and data breaches. "Chairman Pai is seeking to act on a request to stay this rule before it takes effect on March 2," an FCC spokesperson said in a statement to Ars.
  • Google releases details of another Windows bug
  • How to secure the IoT in your organisation: advice and best practice for securing the Internet of Things
    All of the major technology vendors are making a play in the Internet of Things space and there are few organisations that won’t benefit from collecting and analysing the vast array of new data that will be made available. But the recent Mirai botnet is just one example of the tremendous vulnerabilities that exist with unsecured access points. What are the main security considerations and best practices, then, for businesses seeking to leverage the potential of IoT?

GNOME News

  • FEDORA and GNOME at UNSAAC
    Today I did a talk to introduce students of UNSAAC to the Fedora and GNOME world as it was announced by the GDG Cusco group. We started at 8:30 am and it was a free event:
  • GNOME Theme For Firefox Gets Updated, Looking Great
    There are a lot of complete themes for Firefox. We spoke about 3 of them in one of our previous articles. The good news today is that “GNOME 3” theme (which was also called Adwaita) for Firefox was updated. Now it’s working with all versions higher than Firefox 45. Previously, the theme didn’t work with the recent versions of Firefox. So people had to switch to other available themes. Fortunately, this finally changed today when another developer took the code, fixed the compatibility problems and re-released the theme.
  • GStreamer Now Supports Multi-Threaded Scaling/Conversion For Big Performance Win
    With the addition of over two thousand lines of code, GStreamer's video-convert code within gst-plugins-base is now properly multi-threaded. Video scaling and conversion can now be multi-threaded when using GStreamer. With this multi-threading work by Sebastian Dröge, he commented with the commit, "During tests, this gave up to 1.8x speedup with 2 threads and up to 3.2x speedup with 4 threads when converting e.g. 1080p to 4k in v210."

Linux and Graphics

  • OpenRISC For Linux 4.11 Gets Some Optimizations, Prepares For SMP
    OpenRISC continues advancing with its sights on being a free and open processor for embedded systems using the RISC instruction set architecture. Last year the Linux kernel got a new OpenRISC maintainer and for Linux 4.11 there is a fair amount of interesting changes for the OpenRISC code within the mainline tree.
  • drm for v4.11 - main pull request
    The tinydrm code seems like absolute pure shit that has never seen a compiler. I'm upset, because I expect better quality control. In fact, I expect *some* qualitty control, and this piece-of-shit driver has clearly seen none at all. And those patches were apparently committed yesterday. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?
  • [Old] A Guide Through The Linux Sound API Jungle
    At the Audio MC at the Linux Plumbers Conference one thing became very clear: it is very difficult for programmers to figure out which audio API to use for which purpose and which API not to use when doing audio programming on Linux.
  • Mesa, Vulkan & Other Driver Talks From 2017 Embedded Linux Conference
  • Fuzzing Mesa Drivers Begin To Uncover Bugs
    Last December we wrote about work being done on fuzzing OpenGL shaders leading to wild differences with the work being done at the Imperial College London. While they were testing other drivers on different operating systems, they have now fired up tests of Mesa.
  • Wayland's Weston 2.0 Compositor Released
    Wayland 1.13 was released earlier this week but the adjoining Weston compositor update didn't happen at the same time due to some last minute changes needing more time to test, but this Friday, Weston 2.0 is now shipping. But before getting too excited, Weston 2.0 doesn't represent some break-through changes but rather was bumped away from the Wayland versioning rhythm due to its new output configuration API breaking Weston's ABI. Thus the major version bump.
  • weston 2.0.0
    Welcome to the official release of Weston 2.0. There are no changes since RC2.