A video demonstrating a new set of animations for Ubuntu Touch has been posted online.
In the clip, Ubuntu designers showcase a range of visual effects for use in ‘core movements’ on Touch, including animations for switching between applications, unlocking the screen, and pressing buttons.
Ubuntu’s Designers are calling the motion theme ‘Paper’, with the visuals created around the idea of evoking ‘…the theme of paper wherever possible.’ Eschewing traditional papery-effects like curls and folds, the team have opted for a more ‘suggestive’ approach using layers and stacking.
The video also shows a number of application designs using the new ‘Suru’ UI.
Earlier in the week Ubuntu designers also demoed a video of their new RSS reader concept called ‘Shorts‘.
Tizen, the open-source Linux software platform aiming to power everything from smartphones to smart TVs, is seemingly coming to laptops.
Intel demoed a Tizen laptop experience at the Tizen Conference 2013 in San Francisco, USA, earlier this month. And it wasn’t demoed on any old heap of hardware, either: Intel were showing off the OS newcomer on an i7 Ivybridge Ultrabook.
The Tizen OS experience is powered by ‘Tizen Shell’ – a UI built upon GNOME-Shell.
While parts of the desktop are familiar Tizen developers have also made a number of modifications to it, including creating a set of moveable desktop widgets and introducing a HTML5 run-time for powering web-apps.
You can check out the full OS experience in the video below, taken by the folks over at Tizen Experts.
As Tizen is an open-source project all code will be published on the official website later in the year. Better yet, installable images for Ivy Bridge laptops may also be made available for download (with a suite of developer tools pre-installed) in an attempt to woo developers into using the OS for developing Tizen smartphone apps.Tizen Time?
With Ubuntu-powered laptops beginning to increase in both availability and visibility; and with Google’s Chromebook enjoying phenomenal success, could an alternative OS find success on laptops? It just might.
Sporting industry backers like Intel and Samsung, both of whom are actively steering its development, Tizen certainly has enough clout behind it to carve a niche.
Laptops aside, this year certainly will see more of Tizen in the news as the first Tizen smartphone from Samsung is set to go on sale later this year.Front page image credit: TizenExperts.com
Gnome 3.8 introduced a bundle of nifty changes like new applications for Weather, Clock, Documents and Note Taking, improved search in the Activites, Privacy Settings and so on.
Amongst those was a changes was swapping the old Application Overview categories for Category folders.
In essence the new categories folders are no different than the old categories sidebar. They categorise applications by what they do, so apps like Calculator and File Archiver go to “Utilities”; music and movie players appear under “Sound & Video”; GIMP, Inkscape and Pinta show up in “Graphics”, etc.
What makes them different is that the old Categories were shown as sidebar right of the Applications grid, whereby the new folders are displayed right in the grid itself and clicking on them invokes a popover that shows the applications themselves.
It’s pretty swish.
But there’s only one problem: by default GNOME only provides two folders – Utilities and Sundry. Everything else is appears on the one screen, making hunting for apps by eye a little overwhelming.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to add new folders to group applications into – and this is exactly what this article is about.Getting your hands dirty
The first thing you need to do is fire up “dconf Editor”.
Don’t know how? Simply press the “Super key” (may have a Windows logo on it) and type “dc” into the search field. The app will pop out as you type so that you can click on it.
Once Dconf is open navigate to org > gnome > shell in the sidebar. In the right pane you will see an item heading reading: app-folder-categories followed by its contents: ['Utilities', 'Sundry']
Double click on the contents field so that it becomes editable. Delete all of the text inside it and replace it with the following:['Utilities', 'Sundry', 'Office', 'Network', 'Internet', 'Graphics', 'Multimedia', 'System', 'Development', 'Accessories', 'System Settings', 'Other']
This will automatically sort your applications into appropriate folders, like so:
Which looks a tad more organised then before:Going Further
For those of you that want a wee bit more power and feel like playing a bit more you can remove some of those categories, just watch the semantic of the regular expression to be like this:['Category1', 'Category2', 'Category3', ... 'CategoryN']
Regrettably creating custom category is not yet possible, so you are stuck with the built-in ones.But what if I mess up?
Oh, don’t you worry about that. There is “Set to Default” button at the bottom right of DConf-Editor that will restore the selected setting to it’s default value:
He’s the founder of Ubuntu and its parent company Canonical, and serves as the creative force behind not only the Unity desktop but its expansion to phones, tablets and TVs.
In short, Mark Shuttleworth is a very busy man.
But in the weeks following a new Ubuntu release he puts himself in front of the community for a Question & Answer session. Enthusiasts, developers, users, plucky bloggers, and even the odd troll, get the chance to ask the ‘Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life’ quite literally anything.
An IRC log of the entire Q&A can be found at this link. But since we value your eyes – and your time – we’ve picked out the best questions, made them a wee bit more readable, and grouped them by topic for your perusal below.
Someone give us a cookie ;)Unity 8 & Mir Is it wise to use Unity 8 for the first time on a LTS release?
The current plan is to stretch for Unity 8 in 14.04 LTS, but we are confident we can have Unity 7 running there just fine. We already support Unity 7 and it’s getting faster and cleaner as we go,I’ve heard that Unity 8 is just “a Qt front-end for GNOME.” How is Unity 8 supposed to function?
With the work that’s going into phone and mobile we’re rapidly building a great community around a new portfolio of apps. Those apps will all stretch from phone to desktop (and to TV).
We would like to attract developers from a wide range of backgrounds, including GNOME and KDE and make it easy for them to deliver amazing experiences on Unity. We’re not going to get into an ideological fight, and we think developers should choose.
We’ve built a lot of foundations to support that [and] we’re seeing amazing commitments from games companies and others who have done well on IOS and Android. But i’d like to bring as much of the FLOSS ecosystem along with us too. Everyone’s welcome.What are the intentions from NVIDIA and AMD to support Mir? Have they expressed any informal views on that matter?
“I find it bizarre to be criticised for writing open source software…”
Too soon to tell, but history suggests that open source communities are prone to hystrionics up front and pragmatism in the long term - so the hystrionics (sic) were unsurprising and a pragmatic result would be equally unsurprising.
The decision making in Mir was solid: Wayland did not meet our needs or yours, we chose to invest in something, and we chose to do it in a very quality-driven way. I find it bizarre to be criticised for writing open source software, and writing it with quality and performance in mind from the start and much of the mud that was flung was unjustified. But that’s the hystrionics (sic) part, it will happen again I’m sure.
Mir is pretty fantastic already – crisp, clean, fast, focused.How Will GNOME’s development decisions affect Unity 8?
We’ll work as closely with both GNOME and KDE as we can. We have both great relationships and terrible relationships in both cases. There are individuals in GNOME and in KDE that are, respectively, either fantastic or impossible to work with - so disregard any bland statements about how ‘KDE’ and ‘Canonical’ engage. because, as always, it boils down to figuring out who wants to work together, and who doesn’t.
We will do great stuff with both and hopefully act as a central anchor for common standards like we did with indicators, with KDE. It’s difficult to disregard mudslinging, but if you can’t, it becomes impossible to imagine getting anything done together.Miscellaneous Will the major PC manufacturers (Dell, Lenovo, HP) increase availability and model range of Ubuntu-preinstalled laptops in Europe?
In the last six months [there have been] a lot of new models from HP, Asus, Dell etc in Europe, and elsewhere. That will, I expect, continue.How do I, as a K/L/Xubuntu user fit into Canonical’s long term plans?
I hope we continue to strengthen our relationships in the broader Ubuntu tent, and add more options too. I love that all of those options exist and invest a good deal to make it possible.
There is work to be done – every cycle, meshing all these gears takes work but we certainly don’t take decisions to exclude elements of our own community. It’s often a nice headline -grabbing hypothesis for a blogger, but there’s no substance to it. At a bare minimum, you will always be able to run any X environment on Ubuntu. We’ve gone to a lot of effort to retain that.
Now, if a particular person or upstream wants to refuse the ability to engage, that would be weird, but it would be their brand of weird, not mine. So anyway, of all the options you listed, i see no reason why they would cease to exist.What is Your opinion on Windows 8?
Bold choices, right vision, stumbled at the gate but the race is just beginning.
Change is hard. The vision of convergence is the right one so i respect Microsoft for seeing that and focusing on that, but they stumbled with the actual release.
I think they left their actual desktop too much in the past (Win 7.5) and the pushed their tablet too much to the foreground (tiles with a mouse). But they are smart and hungry and being an underdog is wonderfully motivating.
For example they are doing a very impressive job on being an open cloud Azure has been transformed from PAAS into IAAS, and in many regards, damn-good-IAAS too.
Sorry to disappoint the prejudiced.Ubuntu Touch When will the chip supplier supporting Ubuntu Touch be revealed? It was promised after MWC.
We have a preference to announce things in the most impactful way possible and it isn’t the right time to announce that, here [in an IRC channel]. But well spotted, it’s an important step, and i’m very happy that we have made good progress on the silicon front.When in the ongoing processes will you know “Ubuntu is going to make it on the phone”?
That’s straightforwardly a question of market adoption.
We have a nice % of PC shipments, and growing. can we achieve the same in the phone, in a year? I think so, based on conversations so far but we’ll know for sure in 2014.
What is very encouraging at the moment is the interest from top tier app developers; it is an easy port for them from Android / BB10 and a lot of their developers use Ubuntu so… why not!Our Questions
Having choked on my own words when meeting Mssr Shuttleworth at the Ubuntu Phone unveiling back in January, I managed to seize this opportunity to put a few queries of my own to the chap in charge…Canonical will be Computex next month with Ubuntu Touch for phones and tablets – but will Ubuntu TV also feature?
Aspects of the TV are in active development, but the heart of our team is focused on the phone.
We did enough of the TV to prove our design core, and then we’ve put in place a thread of investment on some background pieces that are needed, to do with TV standards. When we want to connect those pieces, or when someone else steps up, it will happen.
But being great on the phone is the most important thing [as] the volumes are there, and developers are there.Back in 2011 you announced the goal of having 200 million Ubuntu users by 2015. Does this figure include Ubuntu Touch, or do you have a separate aim for mobile uptake?
Yes, that is only achievable with mobile, hence the focus on the phone.It’s been suggested that Ubuntu Touch is Canonical’s ‘last roll of the dice’; the last chance to try and get profitable. The cutbacks on release support cycles and axing the physical UDS seem to reinforce this idea for some. How committed in the long-term is Canonical to making Touch a success, and supporting its other projects (cloud, desktop, etc)?
“[Ubuntu Touch] might be a once in a lifetime chance to break out of the cycle of platforms controlled by giants.”
We have great design, great engineering, and are engaging with industry. We could do more, but at diminishing marginal returns. It is a stretch to do both. I would like Ubuntu to be more than just a developer desktop but we will always be that. Regardless, to be more, we have to lead, and that’s hard.
Looking around the world, I don’t see others who could potentially do so, putting in nearly the same level of effort. So I would very much like to see that pay off, because this might be a once in a lifetime chance to break out of the cycle of platforms controlled by giants.
And I think it’s worth taking that gap, and appreciate all the support we get from like-minded, passionate, smart people. so, Ubuntu is a success as a developer desktop which supports our needs on the cloud just fine.
To lead something like a convergent client worldwide is a project worth doing, dontcha’ think?Quote of the Session
In response to a question on the ‘new’ virtual Ubuntu Developer Summits (vUDS), Mark showed he wasn’t beneath a bit of self-deprecation:
“I really like the vUDS thing. What a great example of the sky NOT falling in after all. Much better the second time.
Sort of like… Unity”
A dependency change in last month’s release of Ubuntu 13.04 meant that anyone attempting to install Chrome using Google’s official installer was met with an error. The ‘libudev0′ package required by Chrome to run is no longer available from the Ubuntu repositories.
Ubuntu 12.10, 12.04 or earlier were unaffected.
The good news is that, with yesterday’s release of Google Chrome 27, this roadblock has been solved. Google Chrome, with all its Pepper-Flash and PDF-plugin glory, installs without hitch on Ubuntu 13.04 and, for those already using it, 13.10.
Hit the button below to download Google Chrome for Linux.
“We rolled up our sleeves and reconsidered the heart of the Skype for Linux client,” the company say of the release, adding: “We’re very excited about the results and think that you will be too.”
‘Excited’ may be overstating it a little.
Skype 4,2 for Linux is largely a bug fix release aimed at improving the general stability of the application, its use with Microsoft Accounts (MSN merged into Skype a while back), and fixing a few well-documented faults introduced in the previous release.
These fixes range from the trivial: larger app icons; localizing prices in Skype WiFi prompts; to the much needed: crash fixes; navigation fixes; not showing features where they can’t be used.
Improvements to existing functionality also feature in the update:
- Multi-monitor screen-sharing works better, with the workspace Skype is open on being shown by default
- Microsoft Account users will see a ‘Messenger’ group listing their fellow MSA contacts
- A button for initiating conference calls has been added to the conversations window
- Voice messaging button available from Options
The latest release of Skype can be downloaded from the Skype website. Hit the link below to go there. Select the ‘Ubuntu 12.04 Multiarch’ option before downloading. Despite the ’12.04′ in the name this will also install just fine on Ubuntu 12.10.
Skype advise 64bit Ubuntu users suffering from audio issues to also install the libasound2-plugins:i386 package.
Kingsoft Office for Linux has been updated with an improved theme, new icons and improved file support.
The entire suite of applications are still in active development on Linux, but the makers, Chinese software outfit Kingsoft, are said to be pushing hard on development following the news that Ubuntu-based distro ‘Ubuntu Kylin’ was to become the ‘official OS of China’.
And this work is showing in the latest preview builds. The interface of each application has been refreshed, with a new look called ’Ongmani’ now default. Other themes are available, including the Windows Aero theme used by previous builds.
The icons have also been changed, no-longer looking like they were lifted straight from the Windows desktop. This subtle ‘de-Windows-izing’ of each application extends to various parts of the ‘Ribbon’.
A language selection prompt has been added on first-run. This fixes the biggest issue many non-Chinese users had with previous builds which required a hacky workaround to enable English.
- Sidebar has been reworked to offer more options
- Additional file support for: TXT, CSV, PRN, XML
- XLSX file encryption and decryption support
You can download the latest development release of WPS Office below. Note that the .deb installer below is for 32bit Ubuntu but it can be installed on 64bit using ia32-libs.
Google developers have today shown off Ubuntu running on …Google Glass.
In a session at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, cheekily titled “Voiding your warranty“, developers shared how to root Google Glass and install an alternative operating system on it. OS of choice for the demo being Ubuntu.
The image you see above – a laptop running Ubuntu relaying the screen of Google Glass in a window – is as sexy as it got in the demo. Yep, just a rooted Android accessing a native Ubuntu install through VNC/SSH. No eye-controlled Unity; no blink-powered GNOME.
Since it’s unlikely that anyone reading this owns or has access to Google Glass I can save myself the bother of guiding you through the install process (which is a bit of hassle).
But it’s a geekily-cool sight to see, anyway.
It’s 5 months away from release, but we already know most of the new features planned for Unity in Ubuntu 13.10.
This is, in part, due to developers putting focus on Ubuntu Touch – the mobile version of Unity aimed at mobile and tablet devices.
While this work will eventually make its way to the desktop in the form of Unity 8, it won’t be finished in time to make this release. So the current version of Ubuntu’s desktop – Unity 7 – will serve as the basis for the next release, albeit with some extra polish, a few new features, and plenty of bug-fixes.
Features planned for Unity in Saucy include:
- Smart Scopes Service/100 Scopes
- In-Dash Payments
- New ‘Unity Indicators’
- Newer Compiz with performance improvements
There was also, early on in this cycle, talk of Locally Integrated Menus being implemented. However this hold-over from Ubuntu 12.04 was not mentioned during the recent Ubuntu Developer Summit session.
For performance fans the Ubuntu development team plan to use Compiz 0.9.10. This ‘trunk’ version includes a number of patches and tweaks that add a bit more oomph to the window manager’s performance.
You can see an earlier version of the proposed In-Dash Payment Preview in the video below.
Both Unity 8 and Ubuntu’s new display server Mir will be available to try in Ubuntu 13.10.
At least, that’s the aim, anyway.
The details of precisely how both items will be available to try is currently being hammered out by developers at this weeks Ubuntu Developer Summit. But while neither Mir or Unity 8 will be installed by default, or ship as a session on the Saucy .iso, developers are extremely keen to make them as easy to install in 13.10 either through the Ubuntu Software Center or a dedicated PPA.
Unity 7 and the traditional X.org display server will continue form the default desktop experience in Saucy, which is due in October.‘Preview’ Means ‘Preview’
Regardless of how Unity 8 and Mir is made available to Ubuntu 13.10 users the most important thing for anyone to remember is that it’ll be a preview. Unity 8 – the desktop version of Ubuntu Touch – is unlikely to be in a finished, polished state by October.
There’s also a question of what applications will run under the Mir session. Whilst the final release of Mir will support running “traditional” apps reliant on X.org and GTK, it’s not a given that these will run on the preview version being planned at present. A set of Ubuntu Touch apps will be installed alongside the Unity8/Mir session by default to make up for this.
But the preview will have its uses. It’ll give designers, developers and dutiful testers the chance to play with a functional, if limited, version of the next-gen Ubuntu desktop. Stress it; test it; help shape it.
Around the same time as Ubuntu 13.10 is released more complete version of Ubuntu Touch for Phones is expected to be released.
Ubuntu 13.10 is hoping to ship with Chromium as the default web-browser in place of Mozilla Firefox.
In a discussion on the subject at the current Ubuntu Developer Summit developers expressed broad support for the change, saying that they are “leaning towards” supporting such a switch.
Ubuntu ‘s Desktop Manager, Jason Warner, who says the switch ‘feels like the right decision for the general user’, shared the main rationale behind it:
- Google Chrome has ‘leapfrogged’ Firefox in usage
- There is ‘clear demand’ for it from users; supplying Chromium would meet expectations
- Switching to webkit-based browser offers consistency across convergent platforms
Warner stressed that updated versions of Firefox will remain readily available to install from the Ubuntu Software Center.‘Concerns Addressed’
The session also saw developers tackle concerns and complaints that have prevented Chromium becoming the default browser in the past. Security, PC support, user-preferences, and methods of delivering updated packages were all touched upon.
One commonly raised ‘issue’ is that of extensions, or rather lack thereof, available the open-source browser in comparison to Firefox. Chad Miller, maintainer of Chromium in Ubuntu, explained that the Chrome Webstore offers a massive choice already, adding that “if it’s recent code, it’s almost certain someone has built it for Chrome.”
Switching to Chromium will also allow Unity Web Apps to appear in so-called ‘chromeless’ windows. At present the Firefox implementation of Unity Web Apps opens in a ‘new tab’ rather than a chromless window).
Sadly for those using PowerPC versions of Ubuntu Chromium’s V8 rendering engine is not available, meaning Firefox would have to ship in its place.
A final decision on whether to default to Chromium will be taken following further consultation with the Ubuntu community in the coming weeks.Key Points:
- Developers debating switch to Chromium
- Chormium ‘more popular’ than Firefox, as well as more performant
- Switch would create ‘consistency’ between Ubuntu Touch & Ubuntu desktop as both use Webkit
- Unity Web Apps will be able to use Chromium ‘Chromeless’ mode
- Stable releases of Chromium will be released as they’re available, much like Firefox
- Firefox will remain updated and available to install from Software Center
- Final decision to be taken after feedback with community
Still unsure whether Double Fine’s Humble Bundle is worth the money and bandwidth?
With only six days left to claim your copies, we go hands-on with every game to help you decide…
To recap, there are currently three games available at any price:
- Costume Quest
Eight prototype games from Double Fine were also added yesterday, but are only available for Windows.
Beating the average also nets you Brütal Legend and paying at or above $35 also gets you backer access to Broken Age. If you’re dying to throw money at your screen, paying at or above $70 will also get you a t-shirt with worldwide shipping.Psychonauts
A veteran of the highest grossing bundle yet, Humble Indie Bundle V, Psychonauts has been well-received – despite lacklustre sales – since its debut on the Xbox, Playstation 2, and PC in 2005. The protagonist, Raz, is training to be a Psychonaut and jumps his way out of danger and into the fray of summer camp politics and secret plots.
As a platformer, Psychonauts’ gameplay is rather straightforward. No need to awkwardly grip a ladder or trapeze – Raz will latch onto whatever he can when you’re close enough.
Though this works well enough when you’re hopping around the camp and spacious areas, the finicky camera angles in claustrophobic settings left me replaying multiple stages as I overshot tightropes and trapezes repeatedly or Raz overeagerly grabbed onto another object in the environment. Regardless, the gameplay is downright fun even if it can frustrating at times.
The dialogue is humorous – though certainly not as smart as some of the titles below – and the sound design holds up well for an eight year old title. The graphics tend to show their age when you crank up the resolution to 1920×1080, but this doesn’t detract from the gameplay nor should it.
Psychonauts has lived on with a strong following despite its initial stumble in sales and some niggling gameplay issues and rightly so. It’s fun. It’s humorous. It’s deserving of its second Humble Bundle showing.Stacking
Ever wondered what a world of matroyoshka dolls would be like? Look no further! Stacking is an adventure game that introduces a unique stacking mechanic into the standard fare of puzzle-solving challenges.
You play as little Charlie Blackmore searching for his brothers and sisters across the fantastical world of stacking dolls. With his suspenders and flat cap, Charlie can sneak up behind other dolls, stack with them, and use their unique abilities to build up in-game achievements and solve puzzles in a multitude of ways.
The sepia-toned cutscenes and sustained humour throughout the game complement the fluid stacking mechanic and the developers’ vision of this charming world.
The music is particularly well-suited to the game’s atmosphere. The soundtrack available from the Humble Bundle only includes two tracks from the game’s classical repertoire, but the full list can be found here. Though the cutscenes are only silent films with title cards, the action and music blend perfectly to set the tone for the endearing adventures Charlie encounters.
Ironic when set against hilarious situations and adorable when Charlie finds another one of his siblings, the music makes up for dolls that don’t always say or do much outside their special abilities. Aside from growling, the bear doesn’t move any differently than the pirate or the mime. Though the game’s sounds can leave the atmosphere feeling rather sparse at times, the music is perfectly curated and little Charlie Blackmore always leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.Costume Quest
The premise is as cute as the name and artwork makes Costume Quest out to be: you and your brother or sister (depending on whom you choose to play as) go trick or treating and a goblin takes your other sibling.
Whilst the concept is charming, the actual gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. Candy acts as currency in the game, allowing you to buy “battle stamps” that can increase stats during battle. You can find candy from going door-to-door, bashing pumpkins, and – alarmingly – rummaging through rubbish bins.
Combat itself is rather lackluster. The quick time events that scream at you to “Press <key> now!” in all caps take away from what could otherwise be a rather adorable vision of a child in shining cardboard armour transformed into a goblin-fighting knight.
Stacking’s well-suited classical soundtrack fits perfectly with the silent film aesthetic of the cutscenes and the lack of dialogue wasn’t an issue. Unfortunately, Costume Quest’s dialogue feels interminable against a lukewarm soundtrack, lack of voiceovers, and sparse aural experience when the music dies down.
Though this cel-shaded adventure RPG will please some, others – including me – will have a much better experience with Stacking.Brütal Legend
If you’ve finished your trick-or-treating, reassembled the matroyoshka doll, jumped your way out of psychic trouble, and paid above the average, you can hit the road as a heavy metal roadie in Brütal Legend.
Transported into an alternate, oddly heavy metal-laden world by mysterious circumstances, Eddie Riggs – the Jack Black-voiced protagonist – quickly joins to free the human race from their enslavement.
The massive open world is filled with odd creatures and post-apocalyptic ruins that are immediately open to exploration on foot or in your hot rod.
But don’t let the open world deceive you. This is a real-time strategy game more than an RPG, so you won’t be spending time creating potions and hoarding wooden bowls in your inventory. Aside from the main storyline, you’ll only find secondary missions scattered across the map.
The combat mechanics are a mix of simple hack-and-slash fun and seemingly tacked-on RTS elements. It’s difficult to focus on attacking enemies in front of you whilst needing to manoeuvre a horde of troops across the battle ground. These frustrating moments are unfortunate, but the rest of the action-adventure elements of the gameplay are fun and accompanied by satisfying sound design.
Though many of us may not be metal fans, the soundtrack and aural experience in general mesh extremely well with the rest of the game. Jack Black’s performance isn’t as grating as I imagined it to be from past encounters with his work and the game’s atmosphere hasn’t worn thin on me yet.
The often tongue-in-cheek, sometimes irreverent, but always good-natured dialogue and storyline make up for some of the oddities in the hybrid combat system. If you’re a metal fan too, this is definitely a title you shouldn’t miss.Broken Age Backer Access
Though Broken Age née Double Fine Adventure has yet to be released, a purchase at or above the fixed tier at $35 nets you backer access to the project and beta whilst the game is still in development and the final game when it’s released. If you missed out on the original Kickstarter, this may be a fantastic opportunity to jump on board. Though Double Fine offers the same backer access for $30, you won’t get the four other titles with it.Get the Humble Double Fine Bundle
All four currently available titles can be downloaded from the Humble Bundle site. The Bundle comes with Steam keys and copies in the Ubuntu Software Center, though Brütal Legend is currently unavailable in USC.
If you decide to purchase Broken Age, you will also receive a key that will let you register on the Broken Age site for exclusive backer-only updates, private forums, and the beta when available.
Unity 8 – the next major version of the Unity desktop – has been demoed running atop of Mir, Ubuntu’s custom display server.
Both Unity 8 and Mir are still in active development, so to see them running as well as they are in the video below, taken by Michael Zanetti, is exciting stuff.
Unity 8, formerly known as ‘Unity Next’ is expected to arrive as the default desktop in Ubuntu 14.04. The version of Unity 8 demoed above is not the finished article; so expect something more desktop-like when it arrives.
Ubuntu 13.10, due October this year, is likely to include an option to try both Unity 8 and Mir, though neither will be default.
Want to add some Google Now-style to your Ubuntu desktop? You do? Then read on…
DeviantArt user satya164 has knocked together a Google Now-inspired theme for Conky, the popular Linux system monitor (and a whole heap more).
Unlike many Conky themes this one is light on information displayed, only showing weather and network usage.
But like most Conky themes it is a faff to set up.How to Install Conky Google Now
The instructions below are for Ubuntu, but also apply to its flavours and other Ubuntu-based distributions like Linux Mint.
Before you do anything you first have to install Conky itself. If you’re reading this article on Ubuntu you can hit the button below to open an install prompt.
You may also need to grab Curl if it’s not already installed.
Installed? Great. Next step is to download the Google Now Conky theme from DeviantArt.
Once you have fully downloaded the .Zip you need to extract it, and move the files inside to your home folder:
That’s all that’s needed to install the Conky theme. But you’ll need to edit the weather location to match that of your own:
- Go to weather.yahoo.com
- Search for your location in the weather search box (underneath forecast)
- Copy the numerical string in the URL
- Open .conkyrc in your Home folder
- Find the number: ’2294941′
- Replace it with the numerical string you copied from the Yahoo! Weather URL
If you like the font used in the screenshot, you can grab it from Font Squirrel (for free) - but install it before launching Conky from a Terminal with the command ‘conky’.
Want Conky to open when you login to Ubuntu? You’ll need to add it to Startup Applications.
- Open ‘startup applications’ from the Dash
- Click ‘Add’
- In both name and command fields enter ‘conky‘ (without quote marks)
Finally, to complete the look check out these Google Now themed wallpapers.
Have you used Ubuntu Brainstorm recently? Chances are you haven’t.
Usage of the once-popular feedback service is in decline. Terminal decline, according to Ubuntu developers. So much so the question of whether to ‘sunset’ the project has now been raised.
Ubuntu Brainstorm was created as a way to help build sonance between users and developers. The brief was simple: people submit ideas of what they’d like to see in Ubuntu, users vote and comment on those ideas, then developers respond to the more popular ones.
But there has been fewer ideas, fewer votes, and even fewer answers from developers over the last few years.
It’s easy to see why: Ubuntu’s design and development teams now more open, interactive and approachable than ever before, and Launchpad, used to report bugs against Ubuntu, has also replaced much of Brainstorm’s remit.
As it is today, the best way to promote ideas, give feedback or affect change in Ubuntu is to get involved directly. While Brainstorm may have once been part of that, it’s perhaps best left to fade quietly into memory.
Would you be sad to see Ubuntu Brainstorm go?
As concepts for contests go the latest one from Ubuntu is certainly unique.
Ubuntu fans living in Ukraine and the Russian Federation have the chance to win a Dell laptops simply by spotting and snapping a photo of an Ubuntu billboard.
Dell are* currently advertising several of their Ubuntu-loaded laptops throughout major cities in both countries (Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk and Izhevsk in Russia; Lvov, Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine).
But before you think any ol’ snap of a billboard will do photos are to be judged according to the following criteria:
- Quality of the photo (40%)
- Creativity/Originality (40%)
- Number of views on Flickr (20%)
I’m not entirely sure how one can be ‘original’ and ‘creative’ in taking a photo of a whacking-great advert, but as I’m in the UK I don’t need to sweat too much about it.
Prizes are on offer for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed entries are as follows:
- 1st Place – Dell XPS Laptop
- 2nd Place – Ubuntu Swag, including messenger bag
- 3rd place – 100GB Ubuntu One storage for a year
Each participant can submit up to three photos to the Flickr pool hosting the competition. Importantly, make sure that your camera has location metadata enabled. This requirement is necessary.
Pictures may be photoshopped/gimped as you wish, but must be based on an original image taken by yourself in one of the cities listed above.
So, next time you’re on your way to school in Russia, or driving to work in Ukraine, be sure to have a camera handy – it could just win you a laptop…*Collective nouns can be plural in British English.
As Google Reader edging ever closer to cessation day (July 1st, fact fans) its millions of users are being forced to scout for a replacement service.
Feedly is emerging as one of the most popular refuges for Reader fans. And it’s easy to see why: it offers a great set of features, a slick interface, and can be accessed in various ways on various devices, including Android and iOS.
But I’m not here to talk about why you should choose Feedly, but rather present a neat third-party web-app that integrates the service into the Unity desktop.
Once enabled, ‘Feedly Unity Webapp’ inserts your Feedly feed counts into the Ubuntu Messaging Menu, and displays an unread total badge on its Unity Launcher item.
It does lack desktop notifications, and Firefox’s insistence on opening web-apps as tabs and not separate windows might render it less useful for some (tip: use Chromium instead).
As well as unity integration you also get an app launcher in the Dash, an application icon, and independent entry for Feedly in Ubuntu’s Alt+Tab switcher.
Full instructions on how to install the Feedly webapp for Ubuntu can found on the GitHub page for the project.
Alternatively, the app can be installed from a PPA on Ubuntu 12.04 through 13.10:
HP are listing Ubuntu as a pre-installed operating system option for their forthcoming HP 255 Notebook.
Admittedly that, of itself, isn’t huge news. HP launched their first European Ubuntu-powered PC earlier this year in the form of the Pavilion 20 All-in-One PC.
But the 255, if sold in Europe as expected, will be the first HP laptop available with Ubuntu pre-installed.
Which is a bit newsworthy.
There are also a couple of other juicy bits that hardware-hounds will enjoy digesting from the datasheet:
Firstly, the 255 is listing its chipset as AMD’s ‘Kabani’. Thus far this has only been used in embedded devices, so this marks its first prosumer* outings.
Secondly, four ‘unannounced’ processors are listed: the dual-core E12500 and E23000, and quad-core CPUs A45000 and A652000.*The 255 appears to be a business-oriented device
Valve’s lauded first-person shooter Half-Life 2 has finally arrived on Linux.
The Half-Life 2 series’ debut for Linux through Steam comes just after Valve’s release of Portal for Linux last week.
Though originally released for the PC back in 2004, Half-Life 2 has lived on with additional “episodes” and a growing collection of mods to tide over the series’ fans whilst Valve take their time on the next title in the series.The Future
Valve head Gabe Newell confirmed the company’s work on the second iteration of the Source engine – the engine currently powering Steam titles for Linux like Team Fortress 2, Portal, and the Half-Life 2 series.
Whether Valve debut their new engine with another Half-Life title or something completely different, their continued investment in Linux bodes well for a new Valve release coming much sooner to our platform than the nine-year lag for the original HL2 or the six years for Portal, TF2, and HL2: Episode Two.Get Half-Life 2
Steam is available from both the Steam website and the Ubuntu Software Center.
“Samsung are making the first Ubuntu Phone!” screams the subject field of the latest e-mail to arrive in the OMG! tips inbox.
“I can’t believe you haven’t mentioned the U1000!!” the sender protests – albeit with more capitalisation than I’m willing to convey, but adding to an ant-sized avalanche of mail along similar lines.
What’s stoking their enthusiasm? This:
It’s called the Samsung U1000 and, if half of the internet is to be believed it’s the first officially announced mobile handset to run Ubuntu Touch.
Only, that’s not the case.
The U1000 is a concept phone designed by one Suman Chatterjee. Suman is nothing if not prolific. Recent designs by him include a Facebook Tablet, a Nexus 5 design, and interesting concept for a dual-OS phone running Android on one screen and Windows Phone 8 on the reverse.
Suman’s design is nothing to do with Samsung. It’s not a real phone. The story has simply snowballed from an original posting by the Concept Phones website, in which Suman goes into detail about what hardware his concept “runs”, to what we have today: people throwing money at their screen hoping it will stick.
Of course, this isn’t to say that Samsung aren’t working on an Ubuntu Phone. Despite making a mint from flogging Android handsets a “well known industry rumour” suggests that the company are looking to start placing eggs in another basket.
So while this Samsung Ubuntu Phone might be a load of old cobblers, the idea of one possibly isn’t.