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Los Angeles schools need to think outside the iPad

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Foisting computers on schools has been a lucrative business, one easily disguised as charity. Among Pearson’s allies is the Gates Foundation, which works alongside Microsoft’s education arm to promote the Common Core in schools and support libraries, with Microsoft software in hand. Gates’ competitor for the richest-person-in-the-world slot, Mexican telecom monopolist Carlos Slim, has proposed to bypass schools altogether by bankrolling the online-only Khan Academy. Now Rupert Murdoch is trying to enter the education tech business with a tablet of his own.

[...]

One might, for instance, consider replacing the iPad with a little device called a Raspberry Pi. About the size of a credit card, it’s a fully featured computer, though a keyboard and screen need to be plugged in separately. It comes as a single circuit board with no casing, which reflects its philosophy; the basic parts of the machine are plain for a student to see — the video card, the CPU, the power system, the USB ports. The nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation sells it for as little as $25, compared with $299 to $929 for an iPad. One Laptop per Child (OLPC), another nonprofit project, produces low-cost laptops and tablets with education in mind.

Software can be even cheaper. The Raspberry Pi and OLPC run on Linux, a free, open-source operating system, which is constantly being improved and expanded by thousands of programmers around the world. An enormous variety of free, community-developed programs, including fully featured office suites, graphics tools and games — as well as popular commercial programs such as Skype and Dropbox — can be installed on the device. Apple and Microsoft often tell us that open-source software is unreliable and unfriendly to use, but that hasn’t stopped Linux from being the basis of Android phones, many everyday appliances and most of the Internet. The computer I used to write this article runs Linux.

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Google plans multiple Android Wear updates as Apple's wearable looms

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Android
Google
Mac

Google's first update to Android Wear is coming this week, and several more will follow it before the end of the year as Google moves to quickly iterate on its new wearable software platform. In an interview with CNET, two leading Android engineers lay out what we should expect to see in some future updates. This first one sounds as though it may not be much — just some navigation and voice control improvements — but a few useful features are coming down the road. That includes Google officially beginning to support custom watch faces from third-party developers: some developers have already figured out how to build them, but Google is working on a toolkit for developers that will allow watch faces to easily be made. Google previously teased details of this in a Google+ post.

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Ten Linux Desktops Showing Just How Far Behind Mac OS X and Windows Designs Are

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Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Linux doesn't have any kind of PR, and in the collective mind of the people, there is still an impression that Linux users spend their time inside the terminal and in dreary desktops. In fact, most of the current Linux desktops are much better than anything made by Apple of Microsoft.

When a new operating system is launched from Microsoft or Apple, it stays pretty much the same as long as it's supported, and even when updates are released, the desktops change very little. On the other hand, Linux developers are pushing the boundaries of what can be done in an operating system every day, and new ideas and applications that enhance the desktop experience are popping up all the time, regardless of the OS devs are doing on their front.

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Android L vs. iOS 8: The Battle for the Best Mobile OS Begins

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Android
Mac

While Android users everywhere are rejoicing at the announcement of what is perhaps the biggest revamp to the open-source mobile operating system, Apple users are impatiently twiddling their fingers for iOS 8 to land on their smartphones. Following its own major revamp last year with iOS 7, Apple seems to have found its voice by letting go of skeuomorphism and following a more holistic design that measures up to the latest trends of "flat design". Also, iOS 8 is a huge stepping stone for "convergence" the big utopia major operating systems are aiming for today. Where does Android L stand on all of this? Well, it matches iOS 8 in pretty much every department. And that is what makes this mobile OS battle so exciting.

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The top 14 hidden features in Windows, iOS, and Android

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OS
Android
Microsoft
Mac

You may think you're a high-tech power user who knows all the nooks and crannies of Windows, iOS, and Android, but let's be realistic: There could be at least a few undocumented (or poorly documented) commands, control panels, and apps that have slipped by you—maybe more than a few.

We've dived deep into each OS to uncover the best hidden tips and tricks that can make you more productive—or make common tasks easier. Got a favorite undocumented tip to share with readers? Add them in the comments section at the end of the article.

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The OS LinuX Desktop

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GNU
Linux
Mac

Reader Oliver wanted to make his Linux Mint desktop look as much like a Mac as possible so others would find it easy to use. Given some of our previous Linux featured desktops, we know it wasn't tough, but the end-result still looks great. Here's how it's all set up.

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Android, iOS gobble up even more global smartphone share

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Android
Mac

According to IDC, the total combined market share of Android and iOS swelled to 96.4 percent during the second quarter, up from 92.6 percent a year ago. That left just 2.5 percent of the market to Windows Phone, down from 3.4 percent in a year’s time.

In part, that’s because the worldwide smartphone market swelled to 301.3 million phones, moving past 300 million phones for the first time in its history, according to IDC. That represents 25.3 percent growth from a year ago.

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Teachers explain why they’re ditching iPads for ‘much more useful’ Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
Google
Mac

As popular as the iPad has been for end consumers, schools have also been a major part of the tablet’s success. Ever since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, schools all over the country have experimented with placing them in classrooms or giving them to students to bring home with them. The Atlantic reports that although many institutions were initially satisfied with the results, many are now beginning to see the potential upshot of affordable laptops over expensive tablets.

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With Android L and iOS 8, is Ubuntu Phone OS Too Late to the Party?

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Android
Mac
Ubuntu

The party has begun. Everyone has arrived. The good ones, the bad ones, the pretty ones and the not-so-pretty ones are already here. Except for one. Yes, and it is the most promising one too. Android and iOS both have reached a level of maturity that has given them a huge stronghold over the mobile OS market space. Both of them have been for years, have millions of apps, and have a formidable presence that has managed to ward of competition even from big companies like Microsoft.

This battlefield for mobile operating systems is so heated up that even Samsung, who is one of the biggest mobile device makers in the world is having a hard time catching up with the latest trends. From flat design trend to perks for low-spec devices, both iOS and Android have conquered some of the major challenges that come in the way of making a great mobile operating system.

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China Issues Ban On iPad, MacBook Pro, And Other Apple Products For Government Use

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Mac

China seems to be on a mission to isolate itself from the world, at least in terms of technology. After banning Windows 8 on government PCs and raiding several of Microsoft's offices in China as part of an anti-trust investigation, Chinese officials have now prohibited to purchase of several Apple products for government use.

Reportedly, the list of banned Apple products include the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and half a dozen other items, all of which were left off of a final government procurement list distributed in July. Interestingly, they appeared on the same list in draft form just a month ago. It's no surprise really, when you consider the Chinese state media already declared the iPhone a "threat to national security."

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More in Tux Machines

New GNU/Linux Releases: TheSSS, Arkas OS, Black Lab, and Parrot

  • The Smallest Server Suite Gets Special Edition with PHP 7.0.15, Apache 2.4.25
    4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia about the availability of a special edition of the TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) Live Linux operating system. Carrying the same version number as the original TheSSS release, namely 21.0, and dubbed TheSSS7, the new flavor ships with more recent PHP packages from the 7.0.x series. Specifically, TheSSS7 includes PHP 7.0.15, while TheSSS comes with PHP 5.6.30.
  • Descent OS Is Dead, Arkas OS Takes Its Place and It's Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    Some of you out there might remember the Descent OS distro created by Brian Manderville and based on the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, and today we have some bad news for them as the development is now officially closed. Descent OS first appeared in February 2012 as a lightweight Ubuntu derivative built around the GNOME 2 desktop environment. Back then, it was known as Descent|OS, and was quite actively developed with new features and components borrowed from the latest Ubuntu releases.
  • Black Lab Linux 8.1 Out Now with LibreOffice 5.3, It's Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    Softpedia was informed today by the Black Lab Software project about the general availability of the first point release to the Black Lab Linux 8.0 operating system series. Serving as a base release to the company's enterprise offerings and equipped with all the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel from the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, Black Lab Linux 8.1 comes with up-to-date components and the latest security patches ported from Ubuntu's repositories as of February 15, 2017. "Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 8.1. Our first incremental release to the 8.0 series. In this release we have brought all security updates up to Feb 15, 2017, as well as application updates," said Roberto J. Dohnert, CEO of Black Lab Software.
  • Parrot 3.5 – Call For Betatesters
    We did our best to prepare these preview images including all the updates and the new features introduced since the last release, but now we need your help to understand how to make it even better, and of course we need your help to understand if there is something that doesn’t work as expected or something that absolutely needs to be included in the final release.

Linux and Graphics

  • Linux Kernel 4.10 Now Available for Linux Lite Users, Here's How to Install It
    Minutes after the release of Linux kernel 4.10 last evening, Jerry Bezencon from the Linux Lite project announced that users of the Ubuntu-based distribution can now install it on their machines. Linux 4.10 is now the most advanced kernel branch for all Linux-based operating systems, and brings many exciting new features like virtual GPU support, better writeback management, eBPF hooks for cgroups, as well as Intel Cache Allocation Technology support for the L2/L3 caches of Intel processors.
  • Wacom's Intuos Pro To Be Supported By The Linux 4.11 Kernel
    Jiri Kosina submitted the HID updates today for the Linux 4.11 kernel cycle.
  • Mesa 13.0.5 Released for Linux Gamers with over 70 Improvements, Bug Fixes
    We reported the other day that Mesa 13.0.5 3D Graphics Library will be released this week, and it looks like Collabora's Emil Velikov announced it earlier this morning for all Linux gamers. Mesa 13.0.5 is a maintenance update to the Mesa 13.0 stable series of the open source graphics stack used by default in numerous, if not all GNU/Linux distributions, providing gamers with powerful drivers for their AMD Radeon, Nvidia, and Intel GPUs. It comes approximately three weeks after the Mesa 13.0.4 update.
  • mesa 13.0.5

Interview: Thomas Weissel Installing Plasma in Austrian Schools

With Plasma 5 having reached maturity for widespread use we are starting to see rollouts of it in large environments. Dot News interviewed the admin behind one such rollout in Austrian schools. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Top Lightweight Linux Distributions To Try In 2017
    Today I am going to discuss the top lightweight Linux distros you can try this year on your computer. Although you got yourself a prettyLinuxle linux already but there is always something new to try in Linux. Remember I recommend to try this distros in virtualbox firstly or with the live boot before messing with your system. All distro that I will mention here will be new and somewhat differ from regular distros.
  • [ANNOUNCE] linux-4.10-ck1 / MuQSS CPU scheduler 0.152
  • MSAA Compression Support For Intel's ANV Vulkan Driver
    Intel developer Jason Ekstrand posted a patch over the weekend for enabling MSAA compression support within the ANV Vulkan driver.
  • Highlights of YaST development sprint 31
    As we announced in the previous report, our 31th Scrum sprint was slightly shorter than the usual ones. But you would never say so looking to this blog post. We have a lot of things to talk you about!
  • Comparing Mobile Subscriber Data Across Different Sources - How accurate is the TomiAhonen Almanac every year?
    You’ll see that last spring I felt the world had 7.6 Billion total mobile subscriptions when machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are included. I felt the world had 7.2 Billion total subscriptions when excluding M2M and just counting those in use by humans. And the most relevant number (bottom line) is the ‘unique’ mobile users, which I felt was an even 5.0 Billion humans in 2015. The chart also has the total handsets-in-use statistic which I felt was 5.6 Billion at the end of 2015. Note that I was literally the first person to report on the distinction of the unique user count vs total subscriptions and I have been urging, nearly begging for the big industry giants to also measure that number. They are slowly joining in that count. Similarly to M2M, we also are now starting to see others report M2M counts. I have yet to see a major mobile statistical provider give a global count of devices in use. That will hopefully come also, soon. But lets examine these three numbers that we now do have other sources, a year later, to see did I know what I was doing.