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Nest Labs buys Dropcam, gains Linux-based cams

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Linux
Gadgets

Nest Labs is buying Dropcam for $555 million, and will integrate Dropcam’s Linux-based surveillance cameras into its own Linux-based home automation system.

Nest’s deal to acquire Dropcam for $555 million was revealed by Recode and confirmed in a Nest blog post by co-founder Matt Rogers. The acquisition follows Nest’s own acquisition by Google for $3.2 billion, announced back in January.

The home surveillance company’s Linux-based cameras will be integrated within Nest’s own Linux-based product line, including a smart thermostat and smoke detector (see farther below). The Dropcam team will move from San Francisco to Nest’s offices in Palo Alto.

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Mint 17 is the perfect place for Linux-ers to wait out Ubuntu uncertainty

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Linux
Ubuntu

The team behind Linux Mint unveiled its latest update this week—Mint 17 using kernel 3.13.0-24, nicknamed "Qiana." The new release indicates a major change in direction for what has quickly become one of the most popular Linux distros available today. Mint 17 is based on Ubuntu 14.04, and this decision appears to have one major driver. Consistency.

Like the recently released Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17 is a Long Term Support Release. That means users can expect support to continue until 2019. But even better, this release marks a change in Mint's relationship with Ubuntu. Starting with Mint 17 and continuing until 2016, every release of Linux Mint will be built on the same package base—Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. With this stability, instead of working to keep up with whatever changes Ubuntu makes in the next two years, Mint can focus on those things that make it Mint.

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Antergos: An Easy, Quick Way To Try Out Arch Linux

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GNU
Linux

Arch Linux fans are frequently requesting more benchmarks of their preferred Linux distribution at Phoronix over claims that it's faster than the likes of Ubuntu, more versatile, etc. Every once in a while I do deliver benchmarks of Arch but it's not too frequent given that it's a rolling-release distribution that's very open to end-user tweaking and modification, thus hard to give a defined reference point for other users to compare their results against ours, as opposed to just say "download XYZ ISO, install, and then benchmark!" Thus when benchmarking a distribution like Gentoo or Arch, I prefer using one of the derivatives that at least deploys out of the box quickly, gives some sane default values to use for benchmarking, etc.

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Quirky jumps into home automation with a Linux hub

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Linux

Quirky unveiled an open, Linux-based “Wink” home automation hub and mobile app that control devices available at GE, The Home Depot, and elsewhere.

New York City based Quirky announced its new Wink subsidiary, home automation hub, and smartphone app in The New York Times, and released a brief announcement in preparation for next week’s full launch. A Quirky rep confirmed our suspicions that the Wink Hub runs embedded Linux, but offered no further hardware details.

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Sailfish OS EA3 For The Google Nexus 4 Adds The Jolla Store

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Android
Linux
Google

The third "early adopter" release of Jolla's Sailfish OS platform is now available for Google's Nexus 4 "Mako" smart-phone.

As actual Jolla hardware is still in short supply around the world, Jolla continues investing in their Sailfish for Android effort to port their interesting Linux-based MeeGo-derived platform to various Android devices. With today's Sailfish OS EA3 release for the Nexus 4 there's Jolla Store support and much more.

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ARM Linux thin client does Citrix, RDP, and VMWare

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Linux
Server

Atrust unveiled a “t66″ thin client that runs Linux on a quad-core Freescale i.MX6 SoC, and supports Citrix ICA/HDX, RDP, and VMWare Horizon View protocols.

As power consumption grows in priority, the thin client world is increasingly turning to ARM processors. Atrust Computer Corp. offers a number of ARM-based thin clients, and like its x86-based Intel Atom- and Via-based systems, they run a custom Atrust Linux OS. While the company’s previous ARM systems ran on single-core Cortex-A8-based Sitara system-on-chips from Texas Instruments, the Atrust t66 runs on a faster, quad-core, Cortex-A9-based Freescale i.MX6. No clock rate was supplied for the t66, but the i.MX6 typically runs at 1.2GHz, and offers 2D, 3D, and video coprocessors.

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Linux gaming

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

Back in 2006, when I was contemplating a move from Windows to Linux, I knew I would have to give up computer games. This wasn’t because there were no games written for Linux, it’s just that they weren’t very good. Most of the best commercial games were (and still are) written for Windows, but that’s been changing dramatically over the last year, thanks to Steam, the Internet-based software distribution platform from Valve Corp.

The move to support Linux came fairly late but is drawing impetus from the top.

In July 2012, Valve managing director Gabe Newell had complained that Windows 8 was “a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.”

Observing that many people still stayed away from Linux because of a lack of games, he said Valve was working to bring Steam titles to Linux as a hedging strategy.

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Linux Deepin Brings Mac-Like Sensibility to the Linux Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux

When we consider the Linux desktop, most often GNOME 3, Ubuntu Unity, KDE, Cinnamon, and XFCE come to mind. Those desktops range from the old-school functional to the new-school modern. Each has its strengths and weaknesses along with a vocal following to give it a push into the eyes of the public. For the most part, we use one of those desktops with little thought to making a switch. That’s been my modus operandi for the longest time. Ubuntu Unity has been my desktop. I enjoy its combination of efficiency, powerhouse search, and modern flare.

But then along comes Linux Deepin, a distribution from China that looks to upturn the Linux desktop with an almost Apple-like sensibility. Linux Deepin offers a keen UI design that outshines most every desktop you’ve experienced. Along with that total redesign of the UI, comes a few bonus apps that might easily steal the show from most default apps.

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Top500 Supercomputer Remains Stuck at 33.86 Petaflops/s

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GNU
Linux
Server

While there are competing vendors, chip architectures, core counts and networking fabrics at play in the list of the worlds top 500 supercomputers, when it comes to the operating system of choice, there is no debate. Linux dominates the list with a 97 percent share, being installed on 485 systems on the top 500 list.

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Russia Government Chooses GNU/Linux with Chips

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Russia's government has been flirting with the idea of switching to open source for some time, but often that's been just another example of waving the threat around to encourage Microsoft to offer more favourable licensing terms for using its software, as has happened frequently in the UK. However, a new move by the Russian authorities might finally see them making the switch:

Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry plans to replace US microchips Intel and AMD, used in government’s computers, with domestically-produced micro processor Baikal in a project worth dozens of millions of dollars, business daily Kommersant reported Thursday.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS

  • Diving into Drupal: Princeton’s Multi-site Migration Success with Open-source
    Princeton University’s web team had a complex and overwhelming digital ecosystem comprised of many different websites, created from pre-built templates and hosted exclusively on internal servers. Fast forward six years: Princeton continues to manage a their multisite and flagship endeavors on the open-source Drupal platform, and have seen some great results since their migration back in 2011. However, this success did not come overnight. Organizational buy-in, multi-site migration and authentication were a few of the many challenges Princeton ran into when making the decision to move to the cloud.
  • GitHub Invites Developers to Contribute to the Open Source Guides
    GitHub has recently launched its Open Source Guides, a collection of resources addressing the most common scenarios and best practices for both contributors and maintainers of open source projects. The guides themselves are open source and GitHub is actively inviting developers to participate and share their stories.
  • Top open source projects
    TechRadar recently posted an article about "The best open source software 2017" where they list a few of their favorite open source software projects. It's really hard for an open source software project to become popular if it has poor usability—so I thought I'd add a few quick comments of my own about each.
  • Dropbox releases open-source Slack bot
    Dropbox is looking to tackle unauthorized access and other security incidents in the workplace with a chatbot. Called Securitybot, it that can automatically grab alerts from security monitoring tools and verify incidents with other employers. The company says that through the use of the chatbot, which is open source, it will no longer be necessary to manually reach out to employees to verify access, every time someone enters a sensitive part of the system. The bot is built primarily for Slack, but it is designed to be transferable to other platforms as well.
  • Dropbox’s tool shows how chatbots could be future of cybersecurity
    Disillusion with chatbots has set in across the tech industry and yet Dropbox’s deep thinkers believe they have spotted the technology’s hidden talent: cybersecurity.

Desktop GNU/Linux

  • Entroware have unleashed the 'Aether' laptop for Linux enthusiasts featuring Intel's 7th generation CPUs
  • New Entroware Aether Laptop Pairs Intel Kaby Lake with Ubuntu
    The new Entroware Aether is the latest Linux powered laptop from British company Entroware, and is powered by the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors.
  • Freedom From Microsoft v1.01
    But we can be Free from Microsoft! As we saw above, there is a powerful – and now popular movement afoot to make alternative software available. The Free Software Foundation, and the GNU Project, both founded by Richard Stallman, provide Free software to users with licenses that guarantee users rights: the rights to view, modify, and distribute the software source code. With GNU-licensed software, such as Linux, the user is in complete control over the software they employ. And as people contribute to modify Free Software source code, and are required to share those modifications again, the aggregate creative acts give rise to the availability of many more, much more useful results. Value is created beyond what anyone thought possible, and our freedom multiplies.
  • Review of the week 2017/08
    This week we had to cancel a couple snapshots, as a regression in grub was detected, that caused issues on chain-loading bootloaders. But thanks to our genius maintainers, the issue could be found, fixed and integrated into Tumbleweed (and this despite being busy with hackweek! A great THANK YOU!). Despite those canceled snapshots, this review will still span 4 revisions: 0216, 0218, 0219 and 0224. And believe me, there have been quite some things coming your way.

Security Leftovers

  • [Older] The Secure Linux OS - Tails
    Some people worry a lot about security issues. Anyone can worry about their personal information, such as credit card numbers, on the Internet. They can also be concerned with someone monitoring their activity on the Internet, such as the websites they visit. To help ease these frustrations about the Internet anyone can use the Internet without having to “look over their shoulder”.
  • Password management made easy as news of CloudFlare leak surfaces
    In the last 24 hours, news broke that a serious Cloudflare bug has been causing sensitive data leaks since September, exposing 5.5 million users across thousands of websites. In addition to login data cached by Google and other search engines, it is possible that some iOS applications have been affected as well. With the scale of this leak, the best course of action is to update every password for every site you have an account for. If there was ever a good time to modernize your password practices, this is it. As consumers and denizens of the Internet, we have a responsibility to be aware of the risks we face and make an attempt to mitigate that risk by taking best-effort precautions. Poor password and authentication hygiene leaves a user open to risks such as credit card fraud and identity theft, just like forgetting to brush your teeth regularly can lead to cavities and gum disease. This leaves us with the question of what good password and authentication hygiene looks like. If we stick with the (admittedly poorly chosen) dentistry analogy, then there are five easily identifiable aspects of good hygiene.
  • Security: You might want to change passwords on sites that use Cloudflare
  • Smoothwall Express
    The award-winning Smoothwall Express open-source firewall—designed specifically to be installed and administered by non-experts—continues its forward development march with a new 3.1 release.

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Derivatives

  • 'Big Bang Theory's' Stuart wears Ubuntu T-shirt
    Am I the only person to notice that comic book shop-owning Stuart (Kevin Sussman) on the "The Big Bang Theory" is wearing an Ubuntu T-shirt on the episode airing Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017? (It's Season 10, Episode 17, if that information helps you.) The T-shirt appearance isn't as overt as Sheldon's mention of the Ubuntu Linux operating system way back in Season 3 (Episode 22, according to one YouTube video title), but it's an unusual return for Ubuntu to the world of "Big Bang."
  • Unity Explained: A Look at Ubuntu’s Default Desktop Environment
    Ubuntu is the most well-known version of Linux around. It’s how millions of people have discovered Linux for the first time, and continues to draw new users into the world of open source operating systems. So the interface Ubuntu uses is one many people are going to see. In this area, Ubuntu is unique. Even as a new user, rarely will you confuse the default Ubuntu desktop for something else. That’s because Ubuntu has its own interface that you can — but probably won’t — find anywhere else. It’s called Unity.
  • A Look at Ubuntu MATE 16.04.2 LTS for Raspberry Pi
    Installing Ubuntu MATE onto my Raspberry Pi 3 was straight forward. You can easily use Etcher to write the image to a microSD card, the partition is automatically resized to fill your microSD card when the pi is powered up for the first time, and then you are sent through a typical guided installer. Installation takes several minutes and finally the system reboots and you arrive at the desktop. A Welcome app provides some good information on Ubuntu MATE, including a section specific for the Raspberry Pi. The Welcome app explains that the while the system is based on Ubuntu MATE and uses Ubuntu armhf base, it is in fact using the same kernel as Raspian. It also turns out that a whole set of Raspian software has been ported over such as raspi-config, rpi.gpio, sonic-pi, python-sent-hat, omxplayer, etc. I got in a very simple couple of tests that showed that GPIO control worked.
  • Zorin OS 12 Business Has Arrived [Ed: Zorin 12.1 has also just been released]
    This new release of Zorin OS Business takes advantage of the new features and enhancements in Zorin OS 12, our biggest release ever. These include an all new desktop environment, a new way to install software, entirely new desktop apps and much more. You can find more information about what’s new in Zorin OS 12 here.