Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, for long pursued a single dream — that of acheiving a unified family of experiences on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs through one operating system and one interface, Unity, which will adopt to the connected device. As Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu’s founder said at last year’s OSCon, “Convergence is the core story. Each device is great, but they should be part of one family. On any device you’ll know what you’re doing. One device should be able to give you all the experiences you can get from any one of them.”
Once in a while someone points out a POSIX violation in Linux. Often the answer is to fix the violation, but sometimes Linus Torvalds decides that the POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior, but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if that layer is slower and less efficient.
I used to be quite the Linux enthusiast, trying new distributions almost daily, keeping up to date with news and software versions, just generally participating in the whole scene, though as a technical know-nothing really. I kinda got tired of it after a while and decided to settle on one distribution that would be low on bandwidth needs, extremely stable, and able to do all the things, admittedly a rather limited array of things, that I need it to do. I had been playing with Debian GNU/Linux’s Wheezy iteration (yes, they use “Toy Story” character names) since late 2011, when it was still the “testing” version, and noticed after a year or so that it was in a frozen state, largely set for final release, which ultimately happened, in typical molasses-slow Debian fashion, in early May of 2013. So I guess I’ve been using it as my one and only OS for the better part of two years, rarely if ever booting into any of the dozen or so other distributions I still have installed or into Windows 7. I have it fine tuned to my liking and it does every single thing I need it to do. It’s been reliable and stable, exactly as expected.
The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.
The details were unclear back in late June, but it looked like Mozilla may have been playing some role in delivering a competitor to Google's popular Chromecast dongle, with Mozilla's based on the Firefox OS platform. The rumors abated shortly after they arose, but some people missed the fact that Mozilla confirmed the news in a recent blog post, noting the following: "Mozilla is working with Panasonic to develop next generation SmartTVs running Firefox OS, and Abitcool will launch an HDMI streaming device later this year that allows the user to fling content from compatible mobile or Web apps to an HDTV."
Earlier this month, Home Depot began selling MakerBot's Linux-based 3D printers in a handful of stores across the U.S. after a 3-month trial run online. The big box pilot is not only testing consumer appetite for 3D printing hardware, but also the viability of open source design among a general population of consumers.
Together with the Replicator printers' relatively small size and price tag, MakerBot's design software and online Thingiverse community lower the barrier to creation and sharing for thousands of professionals and hobbyists alike. As a result, the MakerBot open source design community has quickly grown – though not without some difficulties.
The Tails operating system is one of the most trusted platforms in cryptography, favored by Edward Snowden and booted up more than 11,000 times per day in May. But according to the security firm Exodus Intelligence, the program may not be as secure as many thought. The company says they've discovered an undisclosed vulnerability that will let attackers deanonymize Tails computers and even execute code remotely, potentially exposing users to malware attacks. Exodus is currently working with Tails to patch the bug, and expects to hand over a full report on the exploit next week.