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Android Apps Turn Chromebooks Into Macbook Killers

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  • Android Apps Turn Chromebooks Into Macbook Killers

    When Chromebooks launched in the summer of 2011, they seemed destined to fail, much like the underpowered, internet-dependent netbooks that came before them. But in the five years since, Chromebooks have defied expectations, becoming the most used device in US classrooms and even outselling Macs for the first time this year. Still, people complain about their inability to run useful software, but that’s all about to change.

  • Android apps could turn Chromebooks into MacBook killers

Apple Lock-in

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Android vs. iOS: Key Features Android Lacks

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Despite the things I feel are missing from Android, I believe it remains the best mobile operating system for my needs. It's got the apps I want, allows me control over my phone and I get to choose my default applications. Perhaps best of all, I get to choose my user interface thanks to launchers like Nova. Toss in the fact that I get to choose my phone hardware vs having it dictated to me and I can't fathom returning to iOS – ever. My needs have simply outgrown it.

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Android vs. iPhone: Pros and Cons

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Despite its painful shortcomings, Android treats me like an adult. It doesn't lock me into only two methods for backing up my data. Yes, some of Android's limitations are due to the fact that it's focused on letting me choose how to handle my data. But, I also get to choose my own device, add storage on a whim. Android enables me to do a lot of cool stuff that the iPhone simply isn't capable of doing.

At its core, Android gives non-root users greater access to the phone's functionality. For better or worse, it's a level of freedom that I think people are gravitating towards. Now there are going to be many of you who swear by the iPhone thanks to efforts like the libimobiledevice project. But take a long hard look at all the stuff Apple blocks Linux users from doing...then ask yourself – is it really worth it as a Linux user? Hit the Comments, share your thoughts on Android, iPhone or Ubuntu.

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iPhone vs Android: Almost Half Of iPhone Users Think Android Phones Are More Advanced

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Forty-five percent of iPhone users say they believe Android phones are "more advanced" than iPhones, a survey of smartphone owners released Wednesday indicated. Thirty-one percent disagreed while the rest were unsure.

The survey was conducted by OnePulse, a London startup, which surveyed 1,500 iPhone and Android users via its app. Overall, including iPhone and Android users, 40 percent of those surveyed said Android was more advanced than iPhone.

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​Why switch to Windows 10 or a Mac when you can use Linux Mint 17.3 instead?

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Yes, I'm serious. I use all the above desktops -- yes I'm a Windows 7 and 10 user as well as a Linux guy -- and for people I think Mint 17.3 makes a great desktop.

I've been using Mint as my main Linux desktop for years now. Unlike some desktops I could name -- cough, Windows 8, cough -- Linux Mint has never had a flop. Every year that goes by, this operating system keeps getting better. The other desktops? Not so much.

Let's take a closer Windows 7 vs. Linux Mint 17.3

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Satire and Prose: Apple and Microsoft

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  • [Satire] Jono Bacon urges users to ditch Linux and move to Mac OS X
  • Jono Bacon introduces Bad Voltage spin-off Mac Voltage at SCaLE 14x
  • Redmond Admits Using Microsoft Supported Windows Is ‘Risky’ [Ed: back doors as standard]

    In previous visits to Claude and Jane’s house I had cautioned both of them that if the messages they got for any reason seemed to be pushy or if those messages are telling you that you are in danger of infection, that is more than likely malware designed to get you to click a link. Evidently, Jane had listened. Since the “Upgrade to Windows 10” was a clickable link, she stopped what she was doing and signed out of Windows and booted back into Linux. From those friendly confines she began to do a bit of research as to what malware might be threatening her.

    Turns out, she discovered that malware was Windows 10.

    She called me to see if I was busy and would I come over and take a look at this for her. She wanted to make sure she was going to be safe in Windows — or as safe as anyone can be in Windows anyway.

    Jane had taken it on herself to see what this was all about and in that look around the internet she found what she suspected to be true. Microsoft Windows it seems, is in the business of trying to scare old ladies or anyone else who doesn’t really feel comfortable in a technology environment. When I was able to get over there, she showed me what she had found.

Was ​Apple the first major open-source company? Not even close

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Ah, I don't think so.

Many older open-source programmers think, with reason, that's nonsense.

True, Apple has used open-source software for years, but that's not the same thing as making open-source development "a key part of its strategy." It would be more correct to say that Apple was the first major company to take advantage of open source.

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Also on this topic:

  • Is Open Source Swift a good thing ? [Ed (Roy): Apple and Microsoft 'contribute' to Open Source like animal farms (for meat) contribute to bovine and fowl]

    On December 3 Apple has open sourced the Swift programming language on The language was first released (not Open Source yet) about the same time as iOS 8 and was created by Apple to make Mac and iOS app development an easier task. Swift is welcome as one more Open Source language and project but is too early to make a lot of noise about it.


    For now Swift has no client-side (as Angular for JavaScript) or server-side (as Rail for Ruby, Django for Python) application frameworks. Exceptions are the proprietary Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks for Apple platforms only.

    For now Swift can only offer a very young set of core libraries.

    We have enough modern Open Source languages: Python, Ruby, Perl, JavaScript, PHP, Java just to mention the most recent ones. A lot of energy is required to create an ecosystem around a language.

    It is difficult to unbound Swift from Apple platforms since a lot of Open Source extensions for Swift still use proprietary Apple class libraries as NSString etc.

  • Apple retracts comment that it was first major open source company after criticism

    Last week Apple’s open sourcing of Swift naturally saw the spotlight thrown over Apple’s open source pages. This included a paragraph that claimed Apple was “the first major computer company to make Open Source a key part of its strategy”. Unsurprisingly, this riled some members of the developer community as being disingenuous and untrue.

  • Apple is proud of its open source software Swift. A bit too proud

    But it may be a bit too proud. On its page celebrating open-source software, Apple originally claimed it was “the first major computer company to make Open Source development a key part of its ongoing software strategy”.

    That claim will have come as some surprise to most major computer companies. While Apple has a long history of adopting open-source code for its own releases, most notably with the Unix basis of Mac OS X in 1999, it isn’t exactly the first mover in the field. And as for releasing its own proprietary code as open source, that’s something that it has been even slower on – certainly compared to arch rival Google, whose Android operating system is and always has been freely licensed.


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today's leftovers

  • Acer updates Chromebook 15 with 12-hour battery life -- $199 exclusively at Walmart
    Chromebooks are not for everyone, but for many home users, it is absolute perfection. If you live in the web browser -- as many people do nowadays -- laptops running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS are a godsend because they are maintenance free. No need for confusing OS upgrades or anti-virus software. It just works, and it works well. Since they can now run Android apps too, they could become a serious threat to Microsoft and Windows 10. One of the most attractive aspects of Chromebooks is price -- they are often quite affordable. Today, Acer refreshes its 15.6 inch Chromebook 15 with a mind-boggling 12 hours of battery life. Best of all? It starts at $199. Yes, this model will get Android app support in a future update too.
  • Of Life, Linux and Karma Angels
    Angel filed appeal after appeal only to be denied on every attempt. Texas is an "at will" employment state so being terminated for cause can mean anything. Over the next few weeks, Angel became more and more fearful of losing her house, as she had just purchased it a year before. On top of that, her HP desktop had taken a nose dive into severe brokeness and that made it extra difficult for her to look for work. I put together a decent desktop for her and installed it that day, and was a Linux computer. Angel didn't have even the slightest problem with the new machine, and she wasn't particularly good at using one. So, let's put another slash in the falsehood that Linux is too hard for the everyday user. Most of them anyway. YMMV. To her glee, the OS picked up and configured her Epson all in one without her lifting a finger to do so. She almost clapped for happiness, stating that in Windows, installing that printer had been a nightmare, even with the included driver CD. And just to pinpoint the time frame for you, it was the summer of 2006.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to launch on Linux in November, Mac version delayed
    Feral Entertainment has announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be launching on Linux in November. Feral Interactive is currently working on the Linux port of the game. In September the game development studio announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided would make its way to two additional platforms: Linux and Mac. The Linux version of the game will most likely make use of OpenGL or Vulkan to power its graphics engine.
  • Mad Max: It Came From The Desert to Linux
    First of all, let me get one thing straight out of the way, so you know where I come from. I did not like the recent Mad Max movie. Like, not at all. Not that I mind the post apocalyptic theme. I used to like the older Mad Max’s just fine (probably the first one the best). The new one…meh. The Max character had virtually no back story (as thin as a sheet of paper) and he was just acting like a crazy person from beginning to end. The story’s premise was boring and just an excuse for endless and not so impressive action scenes. So there was nothing redeeming it. I know this is not the mainstream opinion of the movie (everyone apparently thought it was the best thing ever since sliced bread) so I can only attribute this phenomenon to either mass hysteria or simply a clear decrease in movie expectations. The Force Awakens‘ success, despite being a mediocre movie and certainly underwhelming compared to the original trilogy, certainly echoes the same trend. I guess you cannot beat nostalgia. Just tag a Millennium Falcon on and you get a free ride no matter how incoherent the story or the characters are.
  • Budgie Remix 16.10 Overview
  • I Switched To OpenSuse Tumbleweed :)
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  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) – Is this large market cap stock undervalued?
  • Fedora 25 new features, Perl removed from Build Root
    Fedora is the fast-paced bleeding-edge distribution of Red Hat. Fedora 25 is the second release of 2016 the other being Fedora 24. Let’s discover what lies in the future of this popular Linux distribution especially among developers.
  • "dnf update" considered harmful
    Updating a Linux distribution has historically been done from the command line (using tools like Debian's apt-get, openSUSE's zypper, or Fedora's yum—or its successor dnf). A series of crashes during system updates on Fedora 24 led Adam Williamson to post a note to fedora-devel and other mailing lists warning people away from running "dnf update" within desktop environments. It turns out that doing so has never truly been supported—though it works the vast majority of the time. The discussion around Williamson's note, however, makes it clear that the command is commonly run that way and that at least some users are quite surprised (and unhappy) that it isn't a supported option.
  • Supporting UEFI secure boot in Debian
    The Debian project can be accused of many things, but jumping too quickly on leading-edge technology is not one of them. That can be seen in, among other things, the fact that there is still not a version of the distribution that supports the UEFI secure boot mechanism. But, as Ben Hutchings explained during his 2016 Kernel Recipes talk, such support is in the works, and it will be implemented in a uniquely Debian-like manner.
  • The Lenovo Yoga Book Is the Future of Laptops, But It's Missing an Operating System
    For this review I spent a week with the Android version of Lenovo’s slick new backflipping laptop. Guts-wise it’s identical to the Windows 10 variant. They both feature Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processors, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of on-device storage, and 1920 x 1200 resolution displays. The Android version starts at $500 and the Windows version starts at $550.
  • Another Broken Nexus 5
    In late 2013 I bought a Nexus 5 for my wife [1]. It’s a good phone and I generally have no complaints about the way it works. In the middle of 2016 I had to make a warranty claim when the original Nexus 5 stopped working [2]. Google’s warranty support was ok, the call-back was good but unfortunately there was some confusion which delayed replacement. Once the confusion about the IMEI was resolved the warranty replacement method was to bill my credit card for a replacement phone and reverse the charge if/when they got the original phone back and found it to have a defect covered by warranty. This policy meant that I got a new phone sooner as they didn’t need to get the old phone first. This is a huge benefit for defects that don’t make the phone unusable as you will never be without a phone. Also if the user determines that the breakage was their fault they can just refrain from sending in the old phone.