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Updated: 27 min 27 sec ago

Ubuntu Touch rtm image released!

4 hours 20 min ago

Canonical has finally released the first image of Ubuntu Touch RTM. The news comes to the heels of announcement by Meizu that Ubuntu powered devices will becoming later this year. Another Ubuntu Touch mobile partner Bq has not announced any release date for their Linux powered devices.

RTM means release to manufacturing or going gold, the term is used for the software products which is ready to be supplied to customer as final product.

Ubuntu Touch has become an important project and product as it is one of those few open source projects from among Jolla and Firefox OS which is fully open source. So Ubuntu Touch going rtm is great news for partners and users.

Those enthusiasts who are already using UT on their Nexus devices must flash their devices with ubuntu-rtm/14.09 image to get stable and up-to-date Ubuntu Touch experience.

There are many bug fixes and improvement which an Ubuntu Touch user will get from this release, after all its rtm.

Łukasz Zemczak of Canonical says, “What to expect in this image? The list will be really hard to write up, especially that the baseline is not well defined – as it is our *first* RTM image that has been promoted. We also need to remember that all the landings are mostly bug fixes, as the time for features has passed. But let’s try anyway: MTP server fixes, Facebook chat notifications, Mir 0.7.1 (overlay enabled back again), Unity8 support for nested prompts, New Ubuntu UI Toolkit, Tons and tons of fixes for core applications, main UI, scopes and internal components.”

Want to try Ubuntu Touch?

It’s extremely easy to flash your Android device with Ubuntu Touch. Known for their documentation, Ubuntu developers have created a nice wiki to help users.

I have not tested the image yet, but I would take Zemczak’s words for it, “As mentioned by QA, this image seems to be the most stable ubuntu-rtm image we ever had. Most blockers have been resolved (along with the no-input unity8 lockup bug), with only more minor issues remaining.”

Note: If you have played with Ubuntu Touch rtm, why not send us a review of it and we will publish it on TheMukt?

The post Ubuntu Touch rtm image released! appeared first on The Mukt.

How to run Android apps in Chromebook

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 08:14:58 PM

Google is bridging the gap between Android and Chrome OS in a smart way – without having to resort to what Microsoft and Canonical is doing – same codebase and interface for totally different form factor.

Google recently brought the first batch of Android apps to Chrome OS and also open sourced some parts of the App Runtime for Chrome (aka ARC).

It was only a matter of time when some smart developer would find a way to install any Android app on Chromebook.

Vlad Filippov has created a clever hack which allows any Chromebook/Chromebox user to install Android apps on their Chrome OS device. It’s very easy to try it out on your device, as documented by Filippov:

#1 Install a sample Android app from the Chrome Store to get the runtime. Test out that app, make sure it runs on your hardware.
#2 If you are running Kubuntu or any other Ubuntu derivative you may need to install lib32stdc++6)

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6

#3 Then install Node.js and npm

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install nodejs

#4 Then install the tool (might need a sudo prefix):

sudo npm install chromeos-apk -g

Now simply grab the apk of the desired Android app (you can use AirDroid to connect your Android device to your Linux PC and then download the apk from the Web interface of the app) and run this command:

chromeos-apk [path to apk file]

The command will create directory for the app in the home of your Linux machine, Simply copy that directory to your Chromebook. Then enable the ‘developer mode’ from


and load the directory using the “Load unpacked extension” button. You can also use Chrome Apps and Extensions Developer tool to load unpacked apps.

You should be running the app in Chromebook.

The post How to run Android apps in Chromebook appeared first on The Mukt.

Wireless Charging coming to Google Chromebooks?

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 05:43:42 PM

Wireless charging, a concept popularized by Android-powered smartphones, is fast picking up. Even Apple, which was known for ‘introducing’ revolutionary new technologies under Steve Jobs’ leadership, is now in the game of catching up with Android and offered wireless charging for the Apple Watch which will arrive next year.

Google is now seemingly taking the concept of wireless charging to the next level and may introduce it to Chromebooks.

One reddittor, who goes by the handle basmith7, found references of wireless charging on a new Chrome OS board called Ryu. The clue came from a commit for the board which clearly says:

Enable inductive charging on Ryu.

François Beaufort of Google mentioned this new board on Google+ which was added to the open-source repository of Chromioum.

This is probably an Nvidia Tegra K1 board as there are enough mentions of Tegra in the code which gives away that it is an Nvidia board.

Nvidia developers are working on the code and you can see other mentions of tegra in the commit.

Nvidia powered Chromebooks are already in the market and Acer 13 has been praised for its performance and longer battery life.

Source: OMGChrome!

The post Wireless Charging coming to Google Chromebooks? appeared first on The Mukt.

Soon you will be able to access ownCloud from Chrome OS

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 02:38:31 PM

The fact is you can already access ownCloud on your Chromebook via the web interface, but it’s not very useful because you can’t really take full advantage of Chrome app to work on your files. You have to manually download each file, work on it using the Chrome apps and then upload then back to your ownCloud server.

If there is ownCloud integration within the File Manager of Chrome OS, then it will be much easier to work on files stored on your ownCloud. You will also be able to save files to your ownCloud, instead of Google Drive, easily.

File System Provider API

Google has created “File System Provider API which enables “extensions to support virtual file systems, which are available in the file manager on Chrome OS.”

These file systems will allow users to access content from external sources (such as your ownCloud server or Dropbox).

Google developer Jun Mukai is maintaining the ChromeOS Filesystem Providers project on GitHub which enables 3rd party cloud providers to integrate with Chrome OS File Manager.

There are primarily two kind of providers, one is protocol provider such as FTP or WebDAV (which can be used to access ownCloud) and Cloud providers which will allow users to connect the file manager with cloud providers like Dropbox, Amazon S3 or ownCloud.

They have already started the work on WebDAV, Amazon S3 and Dropbox. They are planning to integrate more providers such as SFTP, Google Cloud Storage, Samba,Git and Box.

What’s missing from Google’s list is ownCloud, as understandably, it is at the moment not a big project like Dropbox. But I wonder if ownCloud team would like to get involved as it’s an open source project so as to offer native integration with the file manager.

That said, once WebDAV is working on Chromebooks mounting an ownCloud server will become extremely easy. I actually prefer that over a client as then I don’t have to clone the entire directory locally as I have around 1TB data on my ownCloud server and it makes no sense to have that data being downloaded on your Chromebook. WebDAV allows you to access the server on your device and download only those files which you want to work on.

Can I try it now?

Yes, depending on how much work you wan to do. The code is already in the dev and beta channels of Chrome OS so you can follow the GitHub instructions to test it out, just keep in mind that file systems are in read-only mode at the moment.

I use Chromebook regularly, especially that I can now work on documents and images locally, without an internet connection or without uploading anything to Google Drive. ownCloud integration will bring it closer to become my primary device for writing.

NOTE: If you have tips for Chrome OS, please send it to use using this form.

The post Soon you will be able to access ownCloud from Chrome OS appeared first on The Mukt.

Things to do after installing Kubuntu

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 12:54:11 PM

Kubuntu has fully matured and stabilized and comes with the brand new KDE Plasma workspaces and other KDE technologies. Like any other operating system Kubuntu also needs a little bit of work to get it ready for you. There are a few things which are optional and I have added them here based on my own usage, you may not need them.

#1. Install proprietary drivers

The first thing you need to do is install drivers if you are using proprietary GPU. Kubuntu comes with free drivers so it will work out of the box on a majority of machines, but if you need better and smoother performance than you may want to do it.

Hit Alt+F2 to fire Krunner and then type Additional Drivers.

Open the tool and it should show the drivers available for your GPU. Go ahead and activate it.

You will need to reboot your system in order for the driver to work.

#2. Install non-free codecs

If you watch online videos or listen to patent incumbent MP3 music you may want to install drives and codecs which are not pre-installed due to licensing and patent issues.

Open Muon Package Manager from Krunner and then search for kubuntu-restricted, it will show two packages, select them and install them. Once installed you should be able to play all video and audio formats.

#3. Install Chrome browser

Kubuntu comes with a free browser Rekonq, which respects user’s privacy; the latest version of Kubuntu also comes with Firefox pre-installed and you can choose either one. You can also install Google’s open source Chromium or non-free Chrome browser.  Chromium is available in the official repositories of Kubuntu so you can install it by searching in the Muon Package Manger or from the Konsole. However, if you want to install Google Chrome, go to this link and download the appropriate version (32 or 64 bit .deb) and the click on it to install it just like you would install .exe files on Windows.

#4. Install VLC

VLC is more or less like Swiss Knife when it comes to play videos. It supports virtually ever video format available out there. VLC is also available in the repositories (aka repos) so you can easily install it from Muon Package Manager. Once VLC is installed, you won’t have to worry about playing videos on Kubuntu.

#5. Install more fonts

Kubuntu come with a decent set of fonts. However if you want you can increase your font collections – for free. Google has made available its Web fonts for free. If you want only a few of Google fonts then you can download them manually from here. But if you want to grab the entire collection, go ahead and open Konsole (terminal for KDE):

First you need to install Mercurial by running this command:

sudo apt-get install -y mercurial;

Once done, run this command to clone the font repo on your KDE system:

hg clone googlefontdirectory;

The command will create googlefontdirectory folder in your home. That’s where all the fonts will be downloaded.

Once the fonts are downloaded you have to install them. Stay in the home directory and hit Alt + . to view hidden folders. If you already installed some fonts manually you will see a folder called .fonts in home; if not then create a folder named ‘.fonts’. Now copy the fonts folder that you downloaded to this folder and all Google fonts will be enabled on the system.

The post Things to do after installing Kubuntu appeared first on The Mukt.

Canonical, AMD join hands to offer OpenStack Private Cloud in a Box

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 01:13:53 AM

AMD has partnered with Canonical to offer OpenStack private cloud to customers. The solution offers high-end hardware – a SeaMicro SM15000 server – running Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack.

“AMD and Canonical have dedicated a tremendous amount of engineering resources to ensure an integrated solution that removes the complexity of an OpenStack technology deployment,” said Dhiraj Mallick, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD.

The combined solutions makes it extremely easy to deploy OpenStack as it takes out all the complexity typical to OpenStak installation. The joint solution automates complex configuration tasks, simplifies management, and provides a graphical user interface to dynamically deploy new services on demand.

“Canonical has developed the most sophisticated set of tools in the industry to remove the complexity of an enterprise grade OpenStack deployment,” said John Zannos, vice president of cloud channels and alliances at Canonical.

AMD Hardware Canonical Software • SeaMicro SM15000 server provides the following in 10 rack units: • Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack – 3 Cloud Controllers – Ubuntu server – 57 Nova nodes – MAAS – 3 Cinder nodes – Juju – 64 GB Object Storage – 128 GbE NICs (Max. 512 possible) – Integrated Layer 2 Switching – 80 Gbps I/O – Consume 55 Watts per server


The solution is extremely scalable and fast to deploy, AMD says “the record of 168,000 virtual machines was achieved using MAAS (Metal as a Service) and Juju, both part of Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack. MAAS was used to deliver the bare metal servers, storage and networking, and Juju was used for deployment.”

Ubuntu is already the most popular OpenStack operating system and today’s development is good news for Ubuntu’s enterprise market.

The post Canonical, AMD join hands to offer OpenStack Private Cloud in a Box appeared first on The Mukt.

A guy put Moto 360 in water for 30 minutes and it survived

Wednesday 17th of September 2014 12:50:40 AM

Moto 360, the smartwatch by Motorola, has set really high bar for smart-watches not only in design but also in durability. It’s unfair to even compare it to Apple Watch which we won’t see till next year (any by that time Android watches would have moved forward to the next generation leaving Apple behind to catch-up).

This dude tested how waterproof is Moto 360 and the result was impressive.

The post A guy put Moto 360 in water for 30 minutes and it survived appeared first on The Mukt.

SUSE addresses fears of openSUSE community which rose with Micro Focus merger

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 09:45:34 PM

The Attachmate Group, which acquired Novell and SUSE a few year ago has agreed to merge with UK based Micro Focus. With this announcement SUSE, the Germany based Linux company has, for the third time, seen a new owner. SUSE was bought by Novell in 2003 and then Novell was acquired by The Attachmate Group 2011.

While these changes didn’t affect the operations of openSUSE, the popular GNU/Linux-based distribution which is sponsored by SUSE, it did raise questions about the future and stability of the project as the owners changed.

The question re-surfaced again with the merger of Attachmate and Micro Focus. To address any such concerns SUSE’s President and General Manager, Nils Brauckmann contacted the openSUSE Board and openSUSE chairman Richard Brown shared SUSE’s key points on this development:

* Business as Usual: There are no changes planned for the SUSE business structure and leadership. There is no need for any action by the openSUSE Project as a result of this announcement.

* Commitment to Open Source: SUSE remains passionately committed to innovation through Open Source. This has always been the foundation of our business and that will continue as we grow and innovate in new areas.

* Commitment to openSUSE: SUSE is also fully committed to being a sponsor and supporter of an open, highly independent and dynamic openSUSE community and project. We are proud of openSUSE and greatly value the collaborative relationship between SUSE and the openSUSE community. [emphasis added by TheMukt]

The combination of the Attachmate Group and Micro Focus creates a larger, global enterprise software entity, operating at a greater global scale. This provides an even stronger foundation for the continued investment in SUSE and our continued innovation through Open Source.”

Richard says, “The Board is enthusiastic about the benefits of the merger may bring to SUSE and ultimately also to our openSUSE Project.”

openSUSE is one of the most important Open Source projects as they are also the lead contributors to many top projects so an assurance from SUSE will keep the moral of openSUSE developers high.

The post SUSE addresses fears of openSUSE community which rose with Micro Focus merger appeared first on The Mukt.

Android powered Nvidia Shield tablet now available for pre-order

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 09:18:32 PM

Nvidia’s 32GB LTE Shield Tablet is now available for pre-order. The Linux/Android powered tablet is priced at $399 and comes with an 8″ (1,920 x 1,200) display, Tegra K1 CPU and 2GB of RAM.

The tablet will work on and LTE network but the company is pushing for AT&T. To lure customers AT&T is also offering a $100 credit to those who activate their SHIELD tablet on qualifying plans.

Nvidia also stated that many new Android games are being optimized for Shield which include Beach Buggy Racing, BombSquad and Broadsword.

Will you be buying the Android powered gaming tablet?

Pre-order now on NVIDIA SHIELD 4G LTE Tablet, Black 8-Inch 32GB (AT&T, Unlocked)

The post Android powered Nvidia Shield tablet now available for pre-order appeared first on The Mukt.

SMS based Cosmos Browser for the developing countries

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 08:57:02 PM

Browsing the internet has different meaning to different people. While to some the web is a source of entertainment, to others it is a valuable and source of learning. Sadly enough, the internet is not widely available and easily affordable everywhere in the globe. Slow network speed is another problem. Developer Stefan Aleksic of ColdSauce tries to find a solution in an SMS (text) based browser for the third world countries which are yet to see the internet as we know it. He has named it the Cosmos Browser.

If you ever used elinks on Linux, you know how efficient and low-bandwidth text only browsing can be. Of course, it is not meant for visiting a website for downloading wallpapers, but it is more than sufficient if you want to read some information from the web. Cosmos will work on text and will not need any data plan or WiFi.

Here’s how it would work:

Once the user inputs a URL, the app texts the Twilio number which forwards the URL as a POST request to a Node.JS service in the backend. The backend takes the url, gets the HTML source of the website, minifies it, cleanses it of the css, javascript, and images, GZIP compresses it, encodes it in Base64, and sends the data as a series of SMSes. The phone receives this stream at a rate of 3 messages per second, orders them, decompresses them, and displays the content as plain text.

It is a very fresh project (just 6 days old at the time of writing) and the developers are trying to get the first stable release out as soon as possible. The code is open source and anyone with required skills can contribute. As the name suggests, currently the app will target Android devices, which is logical given the fact the iPhones still cost much higher.

The post SMS based Cosmos Browser for the developing countries appeared first on The Mukt.

HP acquires open source Eucalyptus

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 07:56:34 PM

HP has acquired Eucalyptus, an open source software to build Amazon Web Services compatible cloud environments. With this move HP has become a very powerful stakeholder of cloud computing with Helion, OpenStack and Eucalyptus in their basket.

Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos will join HP to head the company’s cloud business. He says, “Enterprises are demanding open source cloud solutions, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to grow the HP Helion portfolio and lead a world-class business that delivers private, hybrid, managed and public clouds to enterprise customers worldwide.”

What’s interesting is that Mickos will now work with HP Helion team to build the portfolio around OpenStack which was seen as a competitor of Eucalyptus.

So the question arises whether Eucalyptus will remain an independent product or will it dissolve into OpenStack.

Mickos will be speaking at the OpenStack conference to be held in Paris and announcing his keynote he said, “I want OpenStack to succeed. When that happens, Eucalyptus can also succeed. OpenStack is (in my humble opinion) the name of a phenomenon of enormous proportions. Eucalyptus is the name of a tightly focused piece of software that serves a unique use case. I am intent on finding and pursuing a mutual benefit.”

With this move HP has placed itself at the centre of the cloud with OpenStack (which is seen as a competitor of AWS) in one hand and AWS compatible Eucalyptus (which was seen as OpenStack competitor) in the other hand.

HP’s hands are full.

The post HP acquires open source Eucalyptus appeared first on The Mukt.

Minetest is an open source Minecraft inspired game

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 04:57:27 PM

Microsoft is spending $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang, the company behind the game Minecraft. Minecraft is one of the major games played on the Microsoft gaming platform Xbox. No wonder Microsoft is interested. Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. It began with creating barricades to ward off nocturnal monsters but people started developing various imaginative things as the game evolved. Minecraft can be a game of adventures or to relax. You can buy the game for $26.95.

Open source software users and gamers do have an excellent alternative to Minecraft. Minetest is an infinite-world block sandbox game and a game engine, inspired by InfiniMiner, Minecraft and similar games that has been under development and played since October 2010. It is quite lightweight and can be played on fairly old desktops or laptops. It can be played on a laptop with Intel 945GM graphics with a dual-core CPU. The source code is open and can be accessed on GitHub.

Here are some highlighted features of Minetest:

  • Walk around, dig and build in an infinite voxel world, and craft stuff from raw materials to help players along the way.
  • Simplistic Modding API that supports many kinds of additions and modifications to the game.
  • Multiplayer support for tens of players, via servers hosted by users.
  • Voxel based lighting with gameplay consequences (light caves and buildings with torches)
  • Almost infinite world and a beautiful map generator.
  • Runs natively on Linux, Windows, OS X and FreeBSD.
  • Supports multiple languages, translated by the community.

Minetest is available in the official repositories on Ubuntu. Use the following command to install it:

$ sudo apt-get install minetest

Other distro users can download it here.

The post Minetest is an open source Minecraft inspired game appeared first on The Mukt.

Micro Focus to acquire SUSE Linux along with Novell

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 02:15:02 PM

SUSE, the Linux company – and also the sponsor of openSUSE – will be sold again. Micro Focus, a UK based software company is all set to become the new owner of SUSE Linux, along with Novell. The company has announced a merger with Attachmate Group, the current owner of SUSE and Novell.

Micro Focus says in a press statement:

The Enlarged Group will be a leading global infrastructure software company with combined revenues of $1.4 billion, Underlying Adjusted EBITDA of $0.5 billion and operations in all major geographies, combining the talents of more than 4,500 employees.

We approached Micro Focus to understand the future of commercial Linux offerings of SUSE as well as that of community focused openSUSE. The company spokesman told us in an email reply:

Here at Micro Focus we are very excited about the proposed merger, and that certainly includes the SUSE solutions and technologies. Do keep in mind that this is still an intention to merge at this point so there is work still to be done to get to the expected close in early November, following the necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals. However, as communicated in the press releases about the merger, our intention is to preserve full product portfolios and we do not anticipate significant structural change. We realize and respect that The Attachmate Group and SUSE are fully committed to being a sponsor and supporter of an open, highly independent and dynamic openSUSE community and project. We also greatly value the collaborative relationship between SUSE and the openSUSE community.

The merger will once again ruffle some features at SUSE and openSUSE which have been under continuous financial instability.

Source: Jan Wildeboer

The post Micro Focus to acquire SUSE Linux along with Novell appeared first on The Mukt.

SanDisk releases the world’s largest capacity SD card: a perfect mate for Chromebooks

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 01:27:01 PM

With 512GB capacity, it’s going to be a perfect mate for Chromebooks!

SanDisk, which recently joined The Linux Foundation to work closely with open source communities, has announced the world’s largest SD card. SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I memory card is the world’s largest capacity card with 512GB storage. The card is also available in 256GB and 128GB capacities.

The card is ideal for high-definition shooting as it also showcases transfer speed up to 95MB/s which means faster transfer of data from your camera to the card making then perfect mate for the newly announced Nikon 810 and 750 DSLRs.

But as a Chromebook user, I can see this card working as extended storage for my Linux-powered device giving me over 512GB of storage so that I don’t have to worry about putting everything on Google Drive, as Chromebooks can work offline just like any other laptop.

The card is priced at $799, which can be a deal breaker for many as you can get 512GB SSD drive for under $200, but this is a premium card with extreme data transfer rate and write speed so for professionals looking for the features, it’s a justifiable price.

The post SanDisk releases the world’s largest capacity SD card: a perfect mate for Chromebooks appeared first on The Mukt.

Meizu Ubuntu Touch device coming this winter

Tuesday 16th of September 2014 01:22:21 AM

Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch operating system will debut its official launch on the octa-core Meizu MX4 in December but there is still no word on a device from the other launch partnet, Bq, yet.

In a blog post, Meizu announced that there MX4 will launch in December with Android 4.4.4 and Ubuntu Touch. The device is very poweful sporting a  MT6595 octa-core processor, a 5.4″ display and a 20.7MP camera.

Between now and December (likely October), we should see Ubuntu Touch Release to Manufacturers (RTM) which indicates that it is stable and ready for mass consumption, at this stage the show stopper bugs should have been fixed so that users don’t encounter things such as random crashes.

Meizu’s Italian blog was the source of the release date and it said “Under the request of some fans that have contacted Canonical, they assured us that from December will be available on Ubuntu Touch Meizu MX4 with MediaTek SoC MT 6595. Still no details regarding the variant “pro” of the device, which should be announced in the coming weeks, but we feel pretty confident in saying that the OS will be developed for it, with the timing probably a little more dilated.”

In the coming months it is expected that we will hear from Canonical’s European partners Bq. Until these devices hit stores however, owners of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 can sideload the OS onto their devices although this is not recommended as there are still annoying bugs here and there.

The post Meizu Ubuntu Touch device coming this winter appeared first on The Mukt.

Musk allowed to go ahead with Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada

Monday 15th of September 2014 02:53:22 AM

This year, Tesla are set to sell over 35,000 cars but has ambitions to be selling 500,000 per year by 2020. To make this objective a reality, Tesla sought and won the right to build a ‘Gigafactory’ the desert north of Reno, Nevada. Here they will build lithium-ion batteries for the energy efficient cars. The gigafactory will cover 10 million square feet and will produce more lithium ion batteries annually than all the existing plants in the world did in 2013.

The state has granted Tesla up to 20 years of exemptions from sales, payroll and property taxes, $125 million in tax credits that Tesla can sell to other companies and $8 million in electricity discounts. The total sum of the tax breaks totalling more than $1.25 billion.

Elon Musk, head at Tesla, said that he will be giving schools in the area $7.5 million per year to improve the educations of the gigafactory’s workers’ children. However critics dismissed the funding for schools as too low for the amount of tax payer money going towards Tesla in terms of tax breaks.

The total job capacity for the factory is 6,500, as a condition for allowing the factory to be built in Nevada the state said that half of the 3,000 construction jobs must be offered to people from Nevada who have worked 30 hours a week in the past 12 months in a Nevada job covered by health insurance. However if not enough qualified worker in Nevada can be found Tesla can get exceptions and look elsewhere for the workers it needs.

The post Musk allowed to go ahead with Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada appeared first on The Mukt.

Chromecast can play movies saved on your Google Drive

Saturday 13th of September 2014 02:25:14 AM

Just copy the movie to Google Drive folder of your Chrome machine and play it on Chromecast.

Chromebook has become a true alternative of Windows and Mac PCs for an average user. Google continues to add more and more features to their Chromecast device. Now Chrome OS users can stream movies to Chromecast which are stored on their Google Drive.

The feature has been added to the dev channel of Chrome OS. You can easily change the channel on your Chromebook if you want early access to new features, just keep in mind that it’s developmental channel and it may have stability issue. I run dev channel and I never came across any show-stopper bug.

How to play movies?

You must have the Google Cast Extension installed and enabled on your Chromebook. Now copy the movies you want to play to the Google Drive folder. Open the Files Apps and select the Drive. Play the movie and you will see the ‘Chromecast’ icon in the player.

The post Chromecast can play movies saved on your Google Drive appeared first on The Mukt.

Yahoo was threatened with $250,000 per day fine for opposing NSA data demands

Friday 12th of September 2014 11:23:34 PM

Over the last year trust in US companies has really slumped due to their complicity in the NSA surveillance programs. However court papers that were released show that Yahoo battled against the US government seven years ago over the expansion of surveillance laws. They also reveal that Yahoo was threatened by the government to hand over user data to the NSA for its PRISM program or receive a fine of $250,000 a day.

Yahoo went to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) after the US government amended a key law to demand user information from online services in 2007. However the court ended the fight by ordering Yahoo to hand over its users data to the National Security Agency.

In the blog post regarding the issue, Yahoo say that despite the release of the documents, portions remain sealed and classified. They say that they are now pushing FISC to release materials from the 2007/8 case in the lower court and say that they are working hard to get this information out there.

The blog post finishes with “Users come first at Yahoo. We treat public safety with the utmost seriousness, but we are also committed to protecting users’ data. We will continue to contest requests an laws that we consider unlawful, unclear or overbroad.”

If Yahoo’s intention was to regain trust from its users it has swayed me somewhat, despite this it is important to remember that Yahoo is known to be a compromised service and it’s probably better to use a service which isn’t.

The post Yahoo was threatened with $250,000 per day fine for opposing NSA data demands appeared first on The Mukt.

This may be the first Dell tablet an Android user would want

Friday 12th of September 2014 02:08:30 AM

Dell announces the world’s thinnest and the most beautiful Android tablet.

Intel Developer Forum is going on with full swing and Dell used the stage to showcase the world’s thinnest, Intel powered Android tablet.

Dell says:

The new Dell Venue 8 7000 Series with Intel RealSense snapshot is the world’s thinnest tablet and will be available in time for the holiday season.

The details are scanty at the moment but from what I know so far, the tablet features a stunning 8.4″ OLED touch screen with 2560×1600.

Ubuntu for Android?

The tablet doubles up as a PC via ‘Dell Cast adapter”. The company says that the adapter allows a user to project to a TV or monitor or turn a screen into a desktop and connect with a keyboard and mouse to use your tablet like a PC.

Intel inside Android?

Intel is among the top contributors to the Linux Kernel and closely works with the community and funds, sponsors a lot of projects. However Intel has not enjoyed any success in the Android space. During IDF, the company announced the “Intel Reference Design for Android” program to offer tablet users a high quality, consistent experience based on the latest Android operating system.

The company will help scale the deployment process of Android for tablet manufacturers by providing the software engineering work, streamlined access to Google Mobile Services*, as well as support for updates and upgrades to future Android releases.

The post This may be the first Dell tablet an Android user would want appeared first on The Mukt.

Open Source is driving disruption in technology: Interview with Nithya Ruff of SanDisk

Friday 12th of September 2014 01:25:35 AM

Nithya A. Ruff is the director of SanDisk Open Source Strategy Office. The company recently joined The Linux Foundation and we met up with her at LinuxCon to understand SanDisk’s plans for Linux and Open Source.

Nithya & Open Source

Nithya Ruff recalls that she was exposed to Open Source back in 1999 at SGI. There she worked with the two really influential people in her life – Jeremy Ellison, the maintainer of Samba, and Dave McAllister who used to run open-source, open standards at Adobe. “They were my partners at SGI and together we worked on creating the open source strategy at SGI,” recalls Ruff.

That partnership left an everlasting impression on Ruff about how important it was to collaborate across companies and communities to solve problems. “If you want to solve problems you can’t really work in silos,” says Nithya Ruff.

SanDisk and Linux

SanDisk is one of the leaders of Flash-based storage and they operate in very diverse markets. SanDisk is in retail, cameras, USB sticks, mobile phones, laptops, embedded devices, but its solutions also range all the way to enterprise, hyperscale and cloud flash-based storage solutions.

When a company operates in such a diverse market, it also comes across all the disruption happening in those spaces. Interestingly, much of that disruption is driven by Open Source. So it was natural for SanDisk to work closely with Linux & Open Source communities.

“If you look at mobile, for instance, Android and Linux is the ecosystem that you need to work with if you are a player in that market space. In the enterprise, particularly, you have to embrace Linux in the data center because flash is often on the server-side as well as in storage systems. Then in hyperscale cloud environments, it’s all about open-source in the OpenStack or Open Compute communities. So we realized that, in couple of years, Open Source will be the key driver in the markets in which we work and we need to collaborate with Open Source communities and the Linux Foundation in order to flash enable some of the technology innovations that are happening in that space.”

There are many subgroups within Linux that SanDisk works with. They engage with the groups who either affect or are impacted by flash.

“…when you look at SOC’s in the mobile space, and Android as the host system, we work with memory subsystem or file subsystems on Linux and enable them to work more easily with flash.”

Flashing the hard solutions stuck on hard drives and tapes

As Linux is becoming omnipresent. It is becoming increasingly important for flash players to engage with the Linux community because the way conventional media such as tape and hard drives work is quite different from the way flash works. A lot of technologies which were developed for conventional media and don’t take full advantage of flash.

Nithya gives one such example where working closely with the Linux community is the best way to recognize and solve such problems, “The read and write path for flash, as an example, is different than it is for other types of memory. We optimize it so it can work more efficiently with flash.”

“We are working with Ceph, for example (which is supported by Inktank, and now Red Hat), on the file systems to make sure that it is able to take advantage of the performance benefits of flash. What typically happens is that a lot of software has been built around hard drives and tapes so there is latency in the reads and writes; and sometimes built-in redundancy. So what we are doing is making sure that these file systems and memory systems can work with flash. We are contributing back those changes to the Ceph community so everyone can benefit from them.”

Where is flash based storage going?

Quite a lot is happening in the storage space for mainly two reasons – the increase in volume of data and the massive increase in the number of devices which are generating and accessing this data; whether it is mobile devices or social networks. New data is being created and accessed at an exponential rate. However, it’s not just about the volume of data, but also about how fast a user is creating it and how fast it is being accessed from the ‘cloud’.

“There is a need for a different way to architect storage in the cloud and that’s where open source is playing a huge role with the likes of Ceph, OpenStack and other open source based systems,” says Ruff.

She further adds, “What we think flash lends to this new architecture is the fact that it is tremendously dense. So you can pack a lot of storage into small space, which is important in massive data centers that require this kind of storage.”

Other areas where flash plays a big role are in energy efficiency, reliability and–most importantly–performance.

Ruff explains, “Most importantly, flash also brings performance to the table because it’s no longer enough to just store away the data. There is an interaction with the data that’s needed and the performance is important. You need capacity and performance in this kind of architecture.”

SanDisk is working with the likes of Ceph and Gluster so that they can marry flash with scale out architectures and build massive scale storage for the cloud to use.

“To me, flash is important media for all kinds of data center environments and, frankly speaking, it’s an important media for the other side of the data center, which is the edge devices and the internet of things. When it comes to mobile, the form factors are such that you want something that’s small, energy-efficient, not mechanical, and that can fit into these tiny devices that can bring the performance that you want. Most of us are very impatient with our personal devices – we want them to perform close to real time. So in both these areas, I see flash playing a very big role.”

Working with communities

One of the best ways to interact directly with the community and other players is by participating in events like LinuxCon.

“…it was all about dialogue, to ask the community about how we should play with them and where can we make a contribution. They know our strengths, they know where we are coming from, and they know where the gaps are and where they need industry’s help in moving forward. So I am also trying to work closely with the storage groups, storage subsystem groups, file system groups and memory groups.”

A new comer to Linux

SanDisk has been a user of Open Source for a while, like most companies. However, now they are actively and directly engaging with the Linux community for mutual benefit.

“We are a newcomer to open source and the Linux community this year. I give SanDisk tremendous amount of credit because for the past five years we have been a consumer of open source. Over the last five years we have come to the realization that we need to collaborate with the open source community at large. We need to give and take. We need to work with other companies to move things forward. So SanDisk has established an open source strategy office and I am pleased to be the first leader of that office. We have a very good structured working group, a steering committee, as well as an interest group. Some of our first contributions have been in Ceph and we have made some kernel contributions as well. Part of my job in Open Strategy office is, as I call it, six Cs: find where we can consume open source, where we can contribute to open source, how we can build competency around open source, how we can collaborate, how we can communicate and how we can make sure we are compliant.”

More women will fix the culture

Nithya Ruff is one of those women who are actively contributing to Linux and Open Source and since SanDisk is going to work directly with the community it was obvious for me to ask about the culture within the Linux Community which can be seen as a bit unwelcoming for women at times.

Nithya Ruff says, “I personally haven’t faced anything like that and I have been very, very lucky to have tremendous collaboration, perhaps it’s because I work on the strategy and business side; I’m not in the IRC chat rooms and coding.”

But she is aware of the challenges there are and she strongly believes, “as more women join these mailing lists the culture will change. I am highly in favor of creating rules of engagements in these groups, a code of conduct that everyone abides by. We all have an obligation to make the world a better place and we make an impact in these groups. When someone joins the group you make sure that you are sensitive to the group ethos and hold people accountable. It’s not just for women it’s for many men who are sensitive to that kind of talk. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the lowest common denominator, I think there is a way we can lift everyone.”

SanDisk is very active in increasing women’s participation in science and technology. “SanDisk is a huge community supporter. They provide a lot of funding to nonprofits including women in stem. We sponsor a lot of organizations very early on to encourage girls in science, technology and engineering. We have been working to create a pipeline into technology from that young age and there is tremendous focus on making sure that we have development opportunities for women in the company as well as in the industry.”

It’s time to get involved with SanDisk

Nithya is calling for ideas from the community about SanDisk’s engagement with Open Source so go on and start talking to SanDisk.

Get connected with Nithya on Twitter:

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