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Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police

Filed under
Android
Google
Mac

The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones.

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device's password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

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How to get iOS 8’s best new features on Android even before iPhone users get them

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Android
Mac

When CEO Tim Cook and his fellow Apple executives unveils iOS 8’s great new features on stage during their WWDC 2014 keynote presentation back in June, the most dramatic audience response might have come when the crew unveiled iOS 8’s new Continuity features. With this great new functionality, iOS devices and Mac computers will be more closely connected than ever, able to quickly and easily exchange files and other data. Better still, iOS device notifications appear on a user’s connected Mac, and messages can even be sent and received right from within OS X.

But there’s a catch: despite the fact that Apple released iOS 8 to the public on Wednesday, none of this awesome new functionality is available to iPhone and iPad users yet. If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, however, all of these great features and more are already available thanks to a single fantastic app.

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Android Wear 'to dominate Apple Watch'

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Android
Mac

Android Wear is rapidly establishing itself as the de facto software platform for smartwatches, and will go on to dominate Apple's recently announced Apple Watch, analysts predict.

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"Evil" Linux Users Teach Mac OS X Fans How to Improve and Destroy Their System

Filed under
Linux
Mac

Apple systems are actually Unix-based, which means that numerous features that you find in a Linux OS are also present in Mac OS X. This is also true for various commands that can be used in a terminal.

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Apple Watch Follows in Android's Footsteps

Filed under
Android
Mac
Gadgets

Apple once led the way in mobile devices, leaving those scurvy pirates of the Android world to imitate, innovate, and fill in the niches that Apple neglected. Unlike the iPhone and iPad, however, the Apple Watch announced this week appears to be following more than leading.

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The iPhone 6 Is Actually A Lot Like A 2012 Android Phone

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Android
Mac

Calm down, Apple fans. Your beloved iPhone 6 may not be all its cracked up to be. In fact, it's a lot like an Android phone ... from 2012.

It may be shiny and new, but you could look at the iPhone 6 as a time warp to two years ago, as Ars Technica Reviews Editor Ron Amadeo points out in the following graphic.

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Los Angeles schools need to think outside the iPad

Filed under
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

Filed under
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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4MLinux 18.0 Distro Released with Support for LibreOffice 5.2, Thunderbird 45.1

4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki has just informed Softpedia today, July 1, 2016, about the immediate availability for download of the final release of the 4MLinux 18.0 operating system. Read more

GNU/Linux Leftovers

  • Not Love
    I had seen GNU/Linux once before in my life. At a previous school, the husband of one of the teachers installed it on a PC in my presence. He couldn’t get it working…. Still, I read that GNU/Linux did not crash. I needed that. I was willing to make the effort to download and install GNU/Linux if I could have only that. Our Internet connection was a few KB/s on dial-up… I spent two weekends and five evenings downloading an .iso CD-image with FileZilla or something on a Mac in the lab. I had never burned a CD before but tried once copying the file to the CD. That wouldn’t boot. I discovered CD imaging… So, on the second try, I had a CD that would boot on the machines. I first did one machine and it wouldn’t start X. Having never seen X before, this was a problem but it turned out all I needed was the scanning frequencies for the CRT in a configuration file. Google helped me find those for each of my five different kinds of monitors. Suddenly, the PCs were useful with GNU/Linux.
  • Linux Under the Hood: Silence of the RAM
    Now that I see the events of the last week chronicled clearly in front of my very eyes, maybe the disparaging old junk man was right after all. I’m shameless enough to admit my own idiocy as long as it leads to learning from my mistakes. Maybe Linux isn’t rocket science, but installing RAM was sure beginning to feel like it.
  • Check out our new issue plus win an ebook bundle!
  • 30 days in a terminal: Day 10 — The experiment is over
    When I set out to spend 30 days living entirely in a Linux terminal, I knew there was a distinct possibility I would fail utterly. I mean, 30 days? No GUI software? No Xorg? Just describing it sounds like torture. And torture it was. Mostly. Some moments, though, were pretty damned amazing. Not amazing enough to help me reach my 30-day goal, mind you. I fell short—only making it to day 10.
  • Bad Voltage Episode 70 Has Been Released: Delicious Amorphous Tech Bubble
  • Tokyo: Automotive Linux Summit
    Engineers will gather in Tokyo July 13-14 for the annual Automotive Linux Summit, a conference where auto-industry stakeholders discuss the adoption of an open-source Linux-based platform for in-vehicle infotainment. The two-day summit brings together automotive systems engineers, Linux experts, developers and other players.
  • Oxenfree, an adventure game with supernatural elements, available on Linux
    This well-received indie title has been ported over to Linux. Combining plenty of elements of 80s teen movies and packaging them in a polished adventure, Oxenfree may be worth checking out if you’re a fan of adventure games.
  • Space station management game, The Spatials: Galactology, is confirmed to be coming for Linux
    This is an expanded and reimagined version of the management sim, The Spatials. It’s yet to be released but the developers have confirmed that a Linux version is in the works.
  • Red Hat Storage VP sees different uses for Ceph, Gluster
    Red Hat Storage showed off updates to its Ceph and Gluster software and laid out its strategy for working with containers at this week’s Red Hat Summit in San Francisco.

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Debian

Leftovers: OSS

  • Google and GitHub are Opening a New Window on Open Source
    Where can you find millions of open source code repositories? That would be on GitHub, of course, and with all those code repositories, one would think that analyzing them would lead to some interesting conclusions about open source in general, correct? That's the thinking behind a new offering from GitHub in partnership with Google. The two have produced a new open dataset on Google BigQuery, a low cost analytics data warehouse service in the cloud, so that anyone can get data-driven insights based on more than 2.8 million open source GitHub repositories. The move brings new data analytics capabilities to BigQuery.
  • Open Source Gospel From Cisco’s Lauren Clooney
    Companies that traditionally focused on proprietary software are now playing catch up in order to compete by utilizing open source development.
  • My condolences, you’re now the maintainer of a popular open source project
    Marc Andreessen, creator of the Netscape web browser, famously said "software is eating the world." I’d like to posit that it’s actually open source software that’s eating the world, and I have a couple of data points to back me up. First, a conclusion from the 2015 Future of Open Source survey: “Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their companies run part or all of its operations on OSS and 66 percent said their company creates software for customers built on open source. This statistic has nearly doubled since 2010.”
  • Tip: Try these open-source investigative journalism tools
    The Investigative Reporters and Editors conference took place in mid-June in New Orleans, and one of the sessions at the event looked at open-source tools for investigations. This 'Steal my tool' session highlighted a number of useful open-source investigative platforms, which Sam Berkhead, engagement editor at IJNet, listed in this article published after the conference.
  • DuckDuckGo: The Little Search Engine That Gives Back Big
    The company’s website says, “DuckDuckGo is a general purpose search engine that is intended to be your starting place when searching the Internet. Use it to get way more instant answers, way less spam and real privacy, which we believe adds up to a much better overall search experience.” [...] Proprietor Gabriel Weinberg says his once-personal project (founded in 2008) isn’t making anyone wealthy, but he and his workers live decently, and he says they’re doing well enough that giving money to open source projects doesn’t hurt their budget.
  • Understanding open source licenses
    Open source licenses are licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition — in brief, they allow software to be freely used, modified, and shared. To be approved by the Open Source Initiative (also known as the OSI), a license must go through the Open Source Initiative’s license review process. There has been an increase release of open source software from the day of Linux. Today most popular frame works like bootstrap and software such as Atom IDE used by developers are open source. We often never worry about using open source code but do you know what the license under which the frame you’re using was released means?
  • Build your own open source solar panels
    Do-it-yourself electricity generation is still difficult and expensive. The inventors of the SunZilla project aim to make it easier, cleaner, portable, quiet, and completely open source. The SunZilla system is designed to replace diesel and gasoline-powered generators for portable and emergency power: camping, events, mobile phone charging station, provide power to refugee camps, or keep the lights on during a power outage. Two people can set it up in a few minutes. It is modular and plug-and-play. Leonie Gildein is one of the five SunZilla engineers, and kindly answered some questions about the project.
  • Lessons From The Downfall Of A $150M Crowdfunded Experiment In Decentralized Governance
    Hype around blockchain has risen to an all-time high. A technology once perceived to be the realm of crypto-anarchists and drug dealers has gained increasing popular recognition for its revolutionary potential, drawing billions in venture-capital investment by the world's leading financial institutions and technology companies. Regulators, rather than treating blockchain platforms (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum) and other "distributed ledgers" merely as tools of illicit dark markets, are beginning to look at frameworks to regulate and incorporate this important technology into traditional commerce.
  • Openfunds launches global standard for fund data interchange
    The standard is published on the openfunds website and can be used by anyone free of charge.