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Updated: 2 hours 43 min ago

Stephen Hawking tries Linux powered Wheelchair made by Intel

Thursday 11th of September 2014 09:31:54 PM

While media was crazy about a smart watch, Intel created a smart chair for disabled people.

Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest brains on the planet, gave Intel’s Linux powered wheelchair a try and talked about it. The company showcased their ‘Connected Wheelchair’ at the ongoing Intel Developer Conference (IDF).

Intel says:

Through the Intel Collaborators program, a team of Intel engineering interns designed a custom platform that can transform standard wheelchairs into data driven, connected machines. Using the Intel(r) Galileo Development kit and Intel Gateway Solutions for IoT, the team created a wheelchair proof of concept that enables the collection of biometrical information from the user, as well as mechanical information from the machine, that can then be analyzed. The team also built an application that allows wheelchair users to map and rate the accessibility of locations, further enhancing the user experience,” notes the announcement from Intel.

The wheelchair is not specially built for Hawking to take care of his special needs. It’s aimed at physically disabled and can assist them by keeping an eye on their health, the status of the chair itself and the accessibility of the place which they are visiting. This Linux powered connected chair can improved the life of disabled people to a great extent.

The chair is in concept or prototype mode and Intel wanted Hawking to talk about it and spread the word about Intel’s efforts in this direction.

Intel is already working with Hawking proving him with the technologies he needs. Since 1997 Intel has been sponsoring and providing his computer-based communication system which he uses to interact with the world.

The post Stephen Hawking tries Linux powered Wheelchair made by Intel appeared first on The Mukt.

There is no reason at all to use MySQL: Michael Widenius

Thursday 11th of September 2014 08:25:02 PM

MySQL was once the most popular open source database (it still is), but it’s popularity and deployment is declining under the ownership of Oracle. The founder of MySQL Michael Widenius “Monty” was not happy when Oracle announced to acquire MySQL through Sun Microsystem. He created MariaDB, an open source, drop-in replacement of MySQL, which is gaining popularity lately.

It’s not only become the default database of the leading open source operating systems, but is also replacing MySQL at WikiMedia and other major organizations and companies. Recently SkySQL merged with MariaDB’s parent company Monty Program Ab, increasing its developer force. We reached out to Monty to talk about the changing database landscape. Read on…

Swapnil: MySQL became the default database of a majority of projects and companies around the globe, what made MySQL so popular – what characteristics did it have? Was it it’s open source nature, technological superiority or marketing by Sun?
Monty: MySQL was widely popular long before MySQL was bought by Sun. (This was one of the main reasons why Sun wanted to buy MySQL).

The main reasons that made MySQL so popular were:

  • Free software/Open Source (freely available to everyone)
  • We were from the start very friendly and helpful towards all users
  • I personally wrote 30,000 emails just to help people get started during the first 5 years.
  • Dual licensing
  • Allowed us to make money so we could hire more people to the project.
  • Allowed us to attract investors (to get the more money needed for rapid growth)
  • We did from the start releases – tested MySQL binaries for a lot of platforms.
  • When we started with MySQL, most free software code come only in source and was not tested on all platforms.
  • From the start we had the rule that anyone should get MySQL up and running in 15 minutes (including download time).
  • We were also lucky to be out in with the right product at the right time.
  • When we started, there was no competition for a free SQL database.

Swapnil: Two leading open source forces were started by Finnish born people – Torvalds and Widenius. Does Finland’s education system encourage such efforts?
Monty: In these two cases, the education system had very little to do with the products.

I think it’s more the nature of Finns that we are very stubborn and hate to give up, even if others tell us that what we do are of no practical use and that we can’t possibly compete with the ‘big players’.

When it comes to Linus Torvalds and I, we both had a talent to talk with other developers and get them excited about what we were doing. Maybe it helped that neither of us are native English speakers and that made it easier to build bridges with developers all over the world. (It was expected from the start that one didn’t have to talk perfect English to join the projects).

Swapnil: You were concerned about MySQL’s sale to Oracle (your concerns turned out to be true). The popularity of MySQL has been declining lately. What do you think is the reason of this decline? What is Oracle doing wrong here?
Monty: Yes, MySQL has declined lately but most users it has lost to others in the MySQL ecosystem, like MariaDB.

What Oracle is doing wrong:

And, probably worst of all, it’s impossible for the community to work with the MySQL developers at Oracle.

  • Oracle doesn’t accept patches
  • There is no public roadmap
  • There is no way to discuss with MySQL developers how to implement things or how the current code works.

Swapnil: How do you feel as a founder of the project? Is MySQL still as open as it was when you founded it?
Monty: No, it’s not open anymore. See above.

Swapnil: At the same time MariaDB is rising in popularity, first of all for regular users – what is the difference between MariaDB and MySQL.
Monty: The answer can be found here.


  • MariaDB has +30 more man years of development on top of MySQL
  • Many more features
  • Faster
  • More stable
  • Less security issues

The short answer is that there is no reason at all to use MySQL 5.5 instead of MariaDB 5.5. The same will be true for the next generation.

Swapnil: How is MariaDB changing the database landscape? MySQL still dominate the Web, are there any programs to engage Web Hosting providers to migrate to MariaDB?
Monty: A lot of the web host providers already support MariaDB (you have only to ask them and many of them will provide MariaDB to you).

We are actively talking to Web host providers to get them to publicly support MariaDB. This is however a long process.

Swapnil: MariaDB is drop-in replacement of MySQL, despite the technological similarities what is the main difference between these two projects from development and licence point?
Monty: MariaDB is developed by the community with an open roadmap. Anyone can easily participate in the development. MySQL is developed as a closed source project and only Oracle, and a few companies elected by Oracle, can participate. MariadB is GPL (as MySQL) but MariaDB has LGPL drivers for C and Java. We are also working on an LGPL ODBC driver. If you use these drivers than you, in most cases, don’t need to buy licenses for MySQL/MariaDB anymore.

Swapnil: How easy or difficult is it to migrate from MySQL to MariaDB?
Monty: Trivial. Just de-install MySQL and install MariaDB instead. All your all tools, connectors will work. You also don’t have to dump/restore data. The format and file names are identical.

Swapnil:Is it planned to have a migration tool/software for MySQL users ?
Monty: No need. See above.

Swapnil: We have seen quite some adoption of MariaDB by organizations like WikiMedia foundation or GNU/Linux based distros like openSUSE and Fedora, but are there any commercial deployment through Monty Program Ab? I mean what is the revenue status of your company?
Monty: Monty Program Ab did get money from a small set of companies to develop MariaDB. In addition Monty Program Ab got money for doing 3 level support to companies like SkySQL.

Swapnil: SkySQL has now merged with Monty Program AB how does it affect the entire developer base of MariaDB?
Monty: As the best MySQL/MariaDB developers, support people, trainers and sale people are in the same company, we are now much better suited to provide the best possible services for any MySQL or MariaDB user.

Swapnil: How do you ensure that MariaDB won’t meet the same fate of MySQL by being acquired by some company?
Monty: That is why we created the MariaDB foundation. The MariaDB Foundation is the driver of the community development and also the holder of the MariaDB server trademark. This ensures that there is never a need to do a new fork of MySQL in spite of who ever would by SkySQL. MariaDB will always be free and community developed!

The post There is no reason at all to use MySQL: Michael Widenius appeared first on The Mukt.

Kolab creates a privacy refugee camp in Switzerland

Thursday 11th of September 2014 06:25:15 PM

The disclosure by NSA contractor Edward Snowden has exposed the ‘out-of-control’ surveillance system of the US and the UK. The more stories we are getting from Guardian and NYTimes, the more people are losing trust in the proprietary solutions offered by the companies which operate from the US and seemingly work closely with the spy agencies.

This is a category of people who don’t yet understand the dangers of breach of privacy, but the more we are moving our lives into the digital world, the more important it is becoming to take control of our communication and privacy from the prying hands of those for whom we are the product.

Then there are those need this privacy, due to the profession they are in or for purely sensible reasons that our privacy should be respected.

As we have seen lately what NSA is doing is more (or maybe its only) about corporate espionage for US based companies than about so-called security and freedom.

So it is becoming increasingly important for people, governments and organizations to take control of their communication. Data is power and if an entity has access to your data, that entity has a lot of power over you.

Abuse of data

Who actually needs secure communication? Everyone. Why should an email provider know the content of an extremely private and sensitive discussion between you and your doctor? There are investigative journalists who may be covering wrongdoings of governments and have sources whose lives could be at risk if the repressive regimes learn about them. There can also be trade negotiations between governments and if one government has access to all of the private communications of the negotiation party they have an unfair advantage; NSA is already doing it.

These are only a few example and there can be more which say that you do nee privacy; that you do need to own you communication.

Claims like “I don’t have anything to hide”, or, “I don’t do anything wrong so I don’t care” are baseless. No one does anything wrong in toilets, does that mean we should have cameras installed in toilets? You have nothing to hide, you don’t do anything wrong when you go shopping for clothes, why do you go behind doors in trial room instead of getting naked in public and trying out new cloths? Privacy has nothing to do with doing something wrong or right. It’s about your private space.

Privacy solutions

There are many companies which offer secure communication solutions to those who do want privacy. In the US there were companies like Lavabit and Silent Circle which offered secure email. However, both companies announced that they were shutting down their mail services as the government wanted access to the data. In the US, you actually don’t have any option – either you comply, or go to jail. They decided to shut down. That created a void.

When the most powerful government of the world is turning hostile towards those who want privacy of community, can there be any place on Earth where you can actually get the ‘right’ to privacy?

The answer is yes! There are companies like Kolab Systems, that offer secure email solutions.

There are technological and political reason which actually make Kolab more trustworthy and superior to Lavabit or Silent Circle. But one may wonder how can Kolab be immune from the far reaching hands of the US government? Why should someone trust Kolab more than Lavabit or Silent Circle?

We talked to Georg C. F. Greve, CEO and Chairman of board of Kolab Systems and discussed all of these points. Before we talk about Kolab’s solutions let’s have a look at its history.

History of Kolab

Greve told me that Kolab was born in Europe. The local government Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) wanted to have a system which was fully auditable, secure, open source and based on open standards. They did not find anything that they needed available in the market so they announced a tender which was won by 3 companies – Erfrakon, Intevention and Kdab.

These three companies worked together and created Kolab which was based on Free Software technologies and principles. Version 1 was released around 2002 and was installed at BSI. Initially they used it in a heterogeneous environment which was a mix of Windows and GNU/Linux desktops but later they switched to GNU/Linux exclusively – which now runs on their 500+ desktops.

Kolab strengthened the cryptography stack of free software

Open Source is all about collaboration and contribution – more than mere consumption. These three companies worked on a lot of technologies such as GnuPG and the entire S/MIME subset by working closely with g10code, the company of Werner Koch, the author of GnuPG. The work of these companies made essential contributions to the entire cryptography stack in free software. KDE PIM also benefited from their work and a lot of KDE PIM developers are part of the Kolab universe. So the work done was giving more to the free software than it was taking.

But unlike many open source projects suffering from NIH syndrome Kolab does it in the right way. “Everything that we do is upstream, always,” said Greve.

The post Kolab creates a privacy refugee camp in Switzerland appeared first on The Mukt.

T-Mobile announces WiFi calling and texting on all phones

Thursday 11th of September 2014 03:05:41 PM

A few days ago during the Apple conference, it was revealed that the iPhone 6 would get the ability to make calls over WiFi and LTE if you were connected to either network to provide better call quality, now T-Mobile has announced that all phones that they sell from now on will also be able to call and text over WiFi and LTE. They also unveiled the Personal CellSpot router that’s designed to imrpove the WiFi calling and texting functionality.

Under their new “Wi-Fi Un-Leashed” campaign title T-Mobile have said that anyone with an existing device who wants to receive the new functionality could only get it by using the Jump upgrade program. The Personal CellSpot router however is free for anyone on T-Mobile after a $25 deposit has been paid otherwise you it pay the full price of $99. The router can work with an existing device or standalone and supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, ac being the very latest.

WiFi calling should help people in the middle of nowhere who have an internet connection but no cellular connection. T-Mobile also want to help those while they are 40000ft in the air too, in their announcement they said they partnered with Gogo to give T-Mobile customers unlimited texts and visual voicemail while on a flight with Gogo. Sprint added voice and text of WiFi earlier this year however Verizon and AT&T do not yet have a comparable feature to offer its customers.

The post T-Mobile announces WiFi calling and texting on all phones appeared first on The Mukt.

Why Starbucks spells your name wrong

Thursday 11th of September 2014 01:59:40 PM

Starbucks or any other such place is a great place to hangout for us Linux users who can just drop in get some work done using the free wi-fi and move along. Have you ever wondered why Starbucks almost always spells your name wrong? Here is an explanation.

The post Why Starbucks spells your name wrong appeared first on The Mukt.

You can return your Android app and get full refund

Wednesday 10th of September 2014 10:20:58 PM

Google now allows users to try the app for up to 2 hours and get full refund if they don’t like it.

Android is already a far better choice than iOS, given the fact that you can install any app even if it is not in the ‘App Store’, by simply selecting the ‘unknown source’ option. There is another area where Google beats Apple and that’s app return and refund. While you can’t really return and get refunded for an iOS app without contacting Apple, Google gives a window of a few minutes to try and return paid apps.

The Android maker is now extending that window to 2 hours. So like real life where you can try a product and take it back if you don’t like, you can now return Android apps if you don’t like them.

24 hours were too much

To be honest earlier Google used to give full 24 hours to try and return the app but it looks like developers didn’t like such a large window where many users would fully use an app – such as game in 24 hour and then return it. So Google changed it to 15 minutes and is now again extending it to a reasonable 2 hours.

It has happened with me a couple of times on iOS where I ended up buying an app which really didn’t do what I wanted and I ended up keeping it as there was no easy way to return it. iWriter was one such app, which in my opinion is the worst writing app. I wish Apple also had such a window so users can return the apps if they don’t find it useful.

I never faced such a situation on Android. If you don’t like it, you can always get your money back.

The post You can return your Android app and get full refund appeared first on The Mukt.

Fairphone – the Fair Trade Coffee of Android

Wednesday 10th of September 2014 07:21:44 PM

Back in May the people behind the Fairphone announced they were making a second batch of phones that you could pre-order, then in July they announced that they are now being delivered. Right now they have around 14,000 out of 35,000 left in stock. However the phone will only ship to Europe for the time being.

Think of the phone as the Fair Trade Coffee of Android, for instance their website says “We believe in conflict-free, fair resources that put people first. We’re starting with conflict-free mineral from the DRC that support families, not armed militias.” In addition to putting social values first when it comes to mining the resources, they do so too at the manufacturing stage saying “Factory workers deserve safe conditions, fair wages and worker representation. We work closely with manufacturers that want to invest in employee wellbeing.”

Of course, such a project can’t exist without caring about recycling phone and the lifespans of phones. On the page dedicated to life cycle of the phone they do warn customers not to buy the Fairphone if their current phone still works or can be fixed because the resources used in your current device would likely go to waste. They go on to say that with the Fairphone they’ve partnered up with iFixit to help user self-diagnose hardware issues and they sell spare parts so you can fix you’re device.

I think my favourite part of the device however is that it doesn’t come with Google Apps, I like to think of myself as a strange breed amongst Android users, I now flatly refuse to install Google Apps. What’s great about this phone is that it doesn’t come with Google Apps by default but on the device they’ve left a widget for you to use so you can install Google Apps if you want them, otherwise users can find their own alternatives such as F-Droid.

The device itself comes with run of the mill specs including:
1.3MP front facing camera
8MP back facing camera
Dual sim
SD card slot expandable to 64GB
Android 4.2 with a custom skin (not too far from stock)
4.3″ display 960×540 pixels, Dragontail glass
Removeable battery
16GB internal storage
MTK6589 Quad-core CPU
Ships by default with root access

One thing to be aware about however with this device is that they do not sell it with a charger (there is a warning before you buy). The phone uses micro-USB slot to charge so finding a charger around the home shouldn’t be a great task in today’s world. They do however offer chargers on there store as well as sim-adapters, Fairphone cases and 3D Printed Cases, which look cool.

The post Fairphone – the Fair Trade Coffee of Android appeared first on The Mukt.

Stephen Colbert takes a dig at Apple Watch

Wednesday 10th of September 2014 05:43:50 PM

The Colbert Report
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on Facebook

Apple announced the Apple Watch to much disappointment. First of all it won’t be available until 2015 by that time Android watches would have moved to the next level, then the design and the size makes it second best watch after Moto 360, something quite alarming for Apple which was otherwise known to be the best it their segment. Apple has also lost the lead that it created under Steve Jobs where the company was known for created new device categories, now the company is more or less trying to catch up with Android players.

Well you can ignore all of that and just enjoy the video.

The post Stephen Colbert takes a dig at Apple Watch appeared first on The Mukt.

You can now make phone calls from Hangouts on Android; bye bye Skype

Wednesday 10th of September 2014 05:11:19 PM

Ever since we got an iPad in the family, one thing that bothered me a lot was that Google Hangout app on the iPad allowed to make phone calls whereas the feature was missing from the Android app.

That didn’t make any sense to me. I contacted Google, but didn’t get any promising answer. It was really hard for me to believe that Google would keep users of its own operating system. Looks like Google was ‘listening’.

Google has just brought the feature to Android. Amit Fulay, Product Manager at Google says, “Starting today you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web. It’s free to call other Hangouts users, it’s free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and the international rates are really low. So keeping in touch is easier and more affordable than ever.”

The feature comes with the latest version of Hangout, version 2.3, which will be rolled out to users in the next few days (I am still waiting for mine). Then install the Hangouts Dialler from Play Store.

Now you will be able to make phone calls to your families and friends. I found Google charges to be cheaper than those on Skype (and then post Microsoft acquisition, I stopped using Skype given the way it seemingly turned into a surveillance tool).

The post You can now make phone calls from Hangouts on Android; bye bye Skype appeared first on The Mukt.

Red Hat Satellite 6 is now available

Wednesday 10th of September 2014 03:33:32 PM

Red Hat, the leading Open Source company with over a billion dollars in revenues every year, has announced the release of Red Hat Satellite 6.

Satellite 6 is a comprehensive solution providing complete lifecycle management of Red Hat systems with provisioning software distribution, patch and configuration management, together with subscription management across physical, virtual and cloud environments.

The solution provides IT organizations with the right management tools for maintaining system availability, performance and governance.

Red Hat says:

Red Hat Satellite 6 delivers a complete system management solution for managing the lifecycle of Red Hat Systems, providing a single management console and methodology for managing the tools required to build, deploy, run and retire a system. Satellite 6 provides a single Content View, a collection of RPMs and/or Puppet Modules that have been refined with filters and rules. Content Views contain both software and configuration content in one place, and are published and promoted throughout lifecycle environments, enabling end-to-end system lifecycle management. Red Hat Satellite can manage not only the lifecycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux software and content configuration, but also the lifecycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat Storage, Red Hat Directory Server, Red Hat Certificate System, and OpenShift Enterprise.

The three main elements of Satellite 6 are:

  • Simplification by reducing the number of tools, increasing automation and streamlining processes necessary to manage systems across their lifecycle to increase IT efficiency.
  • Scaling out to manage a large number of geographically distributed systems, across a wide variety of platforms from physical to virtual, as well to private and public clouds.
  • Innovation: open source is driving innovation across all areas of IT, including systems management. Red Hat has leveraged its expertise in open source to integrate some of the best management capabilities available, spanning multiple open source communities and projects to deliver Red Hat Satellite. This enables enterprises to employ the latest open source systems management innovations in a fully integrated, supported and certified solution.

Satellite 6 is available to all Red Hat Satellite subscribers.

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The FSF and Debian team up to help users in getting ‘free’* hardware

Wednesday 10th of September 2014 12:09:58 PM

Today The Free Software Foundation and Debian have announced that they will work together to contribute to the h-node database to expand and enhance it. The aim of the database is to help people find hardware that runs free software operating systems without a hitch.

What’s h-node? The project page explains:

The h-node project aims at the construction of a hardware database in order to identify what devices work with a fully free operating system. The website is structured like a wiki in which all the users can modify or insert new contents. The h-node project is developed in collaboration and as an activity of the FSF.

The announcement from the FSF says that you can contribute by running one of the FSF’s endorsed distributions (the ones listed on or Debian with only packages from the main archive installed.

Some of you might be sitting in front of your GNU/Linux computer, puzzling over why anyone would need such a database as most of the time everything works with GNU/Linux out of the box. The reason for h-node is that there are a subset of distros that are promoted on the GNU website which only come packaged with Free Software (free as in freedom, not beer) and therefore a lot of wireless cards and graphics cards break as most require proprietary code which work because the standard Linux kernel includes blobs to make them work.

Most of the distributions listed on the GNU site also come standard with the Linux-libre kernel, the aim of that project is to remove any software that does not include source code, has it’s source code obfuscated or released under proprietary licenses from the Linux kernel.

Coincidentally, Debian is NOT promoted by the GNU project because although it ships with non-free repositories disabled, they are very easy to turn back on and therefore the project is not promoted however if you chose to keep non-free repositories switched off then it is still technically a ‘free software distro’.

This announcement has come months after FSF endorsed it’s first laptop, a ThinkPad X60 with it’s BIOS replaced with the free alternative Coreboot and it’s WiFi chip swapped out for a more modern alternative that was compatible with the Trisquel GNU/Linux OS.

The quest by Free Software advocates, led by characters such as Richard Stallman still has a long road ahead and once you cross the hardware hurdle you will have to make do with free alternatives to things like Steam, Skype and Flash. Despite this the project is gaining attention from the privacy conscious who have the technical know-how and can replace incompatible hardware in their computers.

* Free as in freedom and not beer.

The post The FSF and Debian team up to help users in getting ‘free’* hardware appeared first on The Mukt.

New customization options coming to Cinnamon screensaver

Tuesday 9th of September 2014 09:00:51 PM

Linux Mint project lead Clement Lefebvre announced that support for custom date and time format has been added to the Cinnamon screensaver. This will let users add date and time formats of their choice or even leave it unused to have a clean screensaver with just the background wallpaper. They can even use any random string of their choice. The last option is not something very new as even now away message strings can be edited to show any random message but this adds to the customization options.

Cinnamon is one of the desktop environments shipped with the popular distro Linux Mint. It is based on GTK+ and was started as a fork of GNOME Shell. Many users perceive it as more flexible and powerful than GNOME Shell while providing advanced features.

Clement revealed some more interesting news from devland. Work is in progress on supporting “background slideshows” on Cinnamon. Which will finally make its way into the screensaver when ready. This essentially means that users can flaunt their own picture collections as the screensaver, something that can currently be done with wallpapers by installing apps like Variety.

But wait! There’s something even more exciting! Some background research is ongoing on supporting videos in the screensaver, MDM (mdm display manager) and as the Nemo file manager background rendering. However, there are constraints like resource usage and usability. Clement feels that though a low-CPU/RAM implementation can be one with some effort, maintaining the usability and artistic factors are more difficult. But he is hopeful of the ongoing research yielding something positive.

Of course, we’ll wait with fingers crossed.

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Internet slowdown campaign begins in less than 24 hours

Tuesday 9th of September 2014 09:00:32 PM

The Internet Slowdown is a SOPA-like protest to raise awareness about net neutrality in the US. The movement’s aim is for you to ring up your lawmakers to to support net neutrality in future bills that they vote on regarding net neutrality.

They have released a bunch of banners and images you can put on your site, in addition for those who do not have a website, you can apply one these avatars to your Twitter account to promote net neutrality.

There are a lot of big names supporting the campaign, we have: Dwolla, Foursquare, KickStarter, imgur, Greenpeace, Mozilla, Reddit, Vimeo, WordPress and many others.

This follows a campaign which took place around two years ago which protested against the SOPA and PIPA bills, that campaign was very well publicised reaching the mainstream media technology pages and even getting Wikipedia to show and overlay saying that the site had gone dark.

Net Neutrality is the concept that ISPs must provide equal access speeds to all websites. However there are people from a wide spectrum from ISPs to media companies who want to see the back of net neutrality, the ISPs argument goes a little bit like this “Most people use Netflix and this uses up a lot of our Bandwidth and because Netflix won’t let us cache the content then this is costing us more money therefore we think people who want access to Netflix should pay more”, essentially leaving you with a system like pay TV where you pay so much and then you can add bundles on top for more money, you can see why people are annoyed by this.

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Breaking: Amazon Prime videos now available on Android

Tuesday 9th of September 2014 01:14:48 PM

Amazon just took care of my #1 (and possibly only) complaint. Amazon has updated their Android app to version 5.0.0 and bring Prime Videos to all Android devices. Earlier while Prime Videos were available on almost every other platform – including Apple’s iOS they were not available on Google Android, despite the fact that Amazon’s own devices are based on the Android Open Source Project.

The version 5.0.0 update says:

• Prime members in the US can enjoy unlimited Prime Instant Video from within the Amazon app by downloading the Prime Instant Video player, delivered exclusively via the Amazon Appstore
• The new Amazon App for Android phones now enables US customers to discover and purchase all of Amazon’s digital catalog, in addition to an award-winning mobile shopping experience on hundreds of millions of physical goods

With this update Amazon is also offering 5GB of photo back-up allowing users to save their photos on Amazon Cloud Drive.

The thing that bugged me was the fact that Amazon is an exceptionally efficient retailer which was locking its user out and sitting outsize the 80% market owned by Google Android.

Amazon’s lack of support for Google Android was also the reason I never bought any movies from Amazon as I could not watch it on all of my devices, which is dominated by Android. Now I can happily buy content from Amazon knowing that it can be player anywhere, any time.

Lacklustre reception of Amazon devices could have played a big role in telling the retailer that they can’t get Android users by selling them a new phone or tablet, when it can be done by an app.

The post Breaking: Amazon Prime videos now available on Android appeared first on The Mukt.

Snowden will be safe in Switzerland if he testifies against NSA surveillance

Tuesday 9th of September 2014 01:48:07 AM

According to Swiss media, a document titled “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request” exists and that in it the Swiss Attorney General stated that Snowden could be guaranteed safety if he arrives in the country to testify.

The document says that Switzerland does not extradite a US citizen, if their “actions constitute a political offence, or if the request has been politically motivated,” which of course, in the case of Snowden, the second applies.

The document concludes by saying that his safety will be guaranteed if it is ruled that the charges against him have a “predominantly political character.”

On the downside however if there are “higher-level government commitments,” obstacles could arise said the Office of the Attorney General adding that such obligations would need to be verified of their existence if they do exist.

The document was requesting in November 2013. Marcel Bosonnet, Snowden’s Swiss lawyer said that he was please with the conclusions in the document. Swiss politicians are also calling for Snowden to be welcomed to Switzerland as soon as possible.

Currently the NSA whistle-blower is in Russia where he has been granted a residence permit in Russia, which is valid until August 1 2017. Compared to others who have taken similar actions to leaks US government secrets, Snowden is the best off, free to travel in Russia as opposed to stuck in an embassy or a US jail as Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are respectively.

The post Snowden will be safe in Switzerland if he testifies against NSA surveillance appeared first on The Mukt.

Set Static IP for wifi network in Ubuntu Touch, ignore IPV6

Monday 8th of September 2014 01:46:27 PM

All of you who are currently tinkering with Ubuntu Touch images on your Nexus devices, may want to set a static ip for your wifi at some point.

Some people would ask me, why would you want to do that? Well, for me, since I use the hotel wifi locked to my room number and I wanted to get the same IP for my android and my Ubuntu boots. This helped me to avoid the boring process of registering the device multiple times a day! Please note this setting is exclusive to the wifi network you are connecting to not the wifi card.

To get it working, you will need to connect your phone to your laptop/desktop and drop to the shell. I tested this process on my Nexus 5 with UT-RTM images 23 and 25.

Disclaimer: The steps involved assumes you have reasonable knowledge of Linux and you can navigate your way around. I cannot be held reponsible if your phone or laptop gets damaged, or data gets lost.

In Android

Drop to the shell

adb shell Get the ip address and netmask shell@hammerhead:/ $ ip addr show wlan0

The output should be like the one given below. You need to copy the ones in bold,italics.

21: wlan0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP>; mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP qlen 1000 link/ether your:mac:address inet your.device.ip.address/netmask brd broadcastaddress scope global wlan0 inet6 ipv6address/netmask scope link valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever Get IP route shell@hammerhead:/ip route show Example ip route show default via dev wlan0 default via dev wlan0 metric 318 via dev wlan0 dev wlan0 proto kernel scope link src metric 318 dev wlan0 scope link Explanation default via your.default.ip.route dev wlan0 default via your.default.ip.route dev wlan0 metric 318 your.dns.ip.address via your.default.ip.route dev wlan0 broadcast/netmask dev wlan0 proto kernel scope link src your.device.current.ip metric 318 your.default.ip.route dev wlan0 scope link Get the DNS address shell@hammerhead:/ $ getprop net.dns1 your.DNS.ip.address

Copy both the details in a safe place and reboot to the Ubuntu Touch partition. Keep the USB cable connected. You can also use numerous apps on android app store if you prefer the GUI.

In Ubuntu Touch

Once you boot into Ubuntu Touch, connect to the chosen wifi network. Then, drop to the shell prompt.

adb shell

Check the current ip address of your device. Verify if its the same ip as android. If not, then follow the steps below.

root@ubuntu-phablet:~# ip addr show wlan0

Navigate to the NetworkManager folder and look for the wifi SSID name

#cd /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections #ls #cat YOURWIFINAME

Your wifi connection should look like this

[connection] id=YOURWIFINAME uuid=WIRELESS-UUID type=802-11-wireless [802-11-wireless] ssid=WIFISSID mode=infrastructure mac-address=WIRELESS:CARD:MAC:ADDRESS [ipv6] method=auto [ipv4] method=auto

To change to static IP and ignore IPV6 address, you will need to change the sections in [ipv6] and [ipv4]. The changes to be made are shown in the file below in bold,italics. Use vi editor to edit the file(don’t use up and down arrow keys in edit mode). Nano, which is the default editor in Ubuntu Touch,did not allow me to save the file due to some reason.

#vi YOURWIFINAME [connection] id=YOURWIFINAME uuid=WIRELESS-UUID type=802-11-wireless [802-11-wireless] ssid=WIFISSID mode=infrastructure mac-address=WIRELESS:CARD:MAC:ADDRESS [ipv6] method=ignore [ipv4] method=manual address1=your.device.ip.address/netmask,your.default.ip.route dns= is google's DNS,mostly works everywhere); your.DNS.ip.address;

Save the file. Disconnect and reconnect wifi from the Ubuntu Touch UI to get the static IP going. You can verify the ip using the command:

ip addr show wlan0


The post Set Static IP for wifi network in Ubuntu Touch, ignore IPV6 appeared first on The Mukt.

Fedora to get a new partition manager

Sunday 7th of September 2014 10:08:11 PM

Developer Vratislav Podzimek announced the next-gen partition manager for Fedora, blivet-gui. It is eventually going to replace GParted, the most popular GUI based partition manager found in all major distros. The new tool is named blivet-gui as it is based on the blivet python library (originally Anaconda’s storage management and configuration tool).

The need of a new partition manager is roots from the fact that none of the existing GUI partitioning tools supports all the modern storage technologies. Fedora’s Anaconda base supports all and is hence chosen as the back-end for this new intuitive tool. The application is only a few months old but is already looking nice and useful. Features like RAID and BTRFS support are being worked on. Vojtech Trefny is the other developer working with Vratislav on blivet-gui.

The look and feel closely follows that of GParted so that users experience a familiar interface. blivet-gui also handles tasks in the same way GParted does – add tasks one by one and then press the “Apply” button. However, it can handle sequences like the following:

  • Create 10GB partition sda1, create a LUKS device on top of it and use the LUKS device as a PV for a VG called “dataVG” with a single LV “data” occupying half of the VG space and with XFS on top of the LV in one go. On the other hand, GParted supports only partitioning and file system operations.
  • Run blivet-gui with the “–kickstart” option and export the partitioning portion of a kickstart file instead of committing changes to disk.
  • Any application using any toolkit with the XEmbed protocol support (Gtk, Qt,…) may use blivet-gui as a part of its GUI.

The features already implemented include:

  • Visualisation of storage devices.
  • Creating, editing (resizing and formatting) and deleting of disk partitions.
  • Creating LVM2 Physical Volumes (including LUKS encryption), Volume Groups and Logical Volumes.
  • Special option to create kickstart file for Anaconda installer.

blivet-gui is already available for installation and testing on Fedora. Run the following command to install it:

$ su -c "dnf copr enable vtrefny/blivet-gui && dnf install blivet-gui"

To run blivet-gui:

$ su -c "blivet-gui"

The post Fedora to get a new partition manager appeared first on The Mukt.

openSUSE Factory has overtaken Tumbleweed

Saturday 6th of September 2014 12:32:50 AM

openSUSE sent a wave of excitement amount users in July when the project announced that Factory had become an independent distribution using the ‘rolling release’ development model similar to that of Arch Linux.

The project has seen a steep growth in Factory users after the announcement, as you can see in the chat below, which means more and more users are switching to Factory.

Ancor Gonzalez Sosa of openSUSE says, “We can observe a big increase of the number of users in Factory during this July and August (from 1952 in June to 5969 at the end of August). Factory nearly tripled the number of installations without hurting Tumbleweed (5471 installations in June and 5637 at the end of August).”

However the Tumbleweed installations are going down, even Greg KH, the maintainer of Tumbleweed and ace Linux developer predicted that Tumbleweed may die eventually.

He says, “Ideally, Tumbleweed will die with the use of Factory in its place. Factory is a great goal, and one that I really want to see happen, as it fits into my working model (constantly updating stable distro), but from what I have been told, it’s just not quite there yet.”

As an openSUSE user (I run Kubuntu, openSUSE and Arch Linux on my machines), I am already on Factory and it works great – you always run the latest packages.

If you want to move to Factory, check out this article.

The post openSUSE Factory has overtaken Tumbleweed appeared first on The Mukt.

How to install Sublime Text in openSUSE

Friday 5th of September 2014 10:42:28 PM

Sublime Text is one of the best editors out there and it’s also available for GNU/Linux based systems. Sublime Text is not free software – free as in beer as well as freedom. It’s a $70 software but it’s more or less a nagware. It will nag you once in a while to buy the licence. I am sure for how long you can use it. I have a licence for Mac so I don’t really care as I can use the same licence on multiple machines.

So if you already have Sublime Text licence and you want to use it on your openSUSE box as well, this article will help you. And as I said, you don’t need a licence to use it so you can give it a try either way.

Step #1 Grab the 32 or 64 bit tar based on your openSUSE architecture from this page

step #2 Once the package is downloaded cd to the directory where it’s downloaded and extract it:

tar vxjf Sublime_FILE_NAME.tar.bz2

Step #3 Now let’s move the extracted folder to opt directory

sudo mv Sublime_FOLDER_NAME /opt/

Step #4 Then create a symlink in bin

sudo ln -s /opt/PATH_TO_SUBLIME/sublime_text /usr/bin/sublime

Now you can easily start Sublime Text from the Konsole by running


You can also add it to menu manually by right clicking on the openSUSE icon/launcher and select edit applications. Then click on new item and enter name Sublime Text in the name and ‘sublime’ as command.

I grabbed the Sublime Text image/icon from Google/Wikipedia and used as the icon. Click on save and you are done.

The post How to install Sublime Text in openSUSE appeared first on The Mukt.

HP announces two new ultra-thin Chrombooks

Friday 5th of September 2014 07:23:11 PM

HP has announced two new ultra-thin Chromebooks – the 11-inch HP Chromebook and full-size 14-inch HP Chromebook.

The 11-inch (1366 x 768 resolution) Chromebook comes with Intel Celeron N2830 Processor (2.16GHz, 1M L2 Cache), 16GB SSD storage. It comes with 2GB or 4GB RAM and is available in two colors – Ocean Turquoise and Snow White. . The device is priced at $ 199.

The 14-inch (1366 x 768 resolution) Chromebook comes with NVIDIA Tegra K1 mobile processor. This one is available with 16GB or 32GB SSD and 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Unlike the 11-inch version, this one comes in four colors – Smoke Silver, Sorbet Orange, Ocean Turquoise and Neon Green. The device will be sold at $299.

HP promises up to 8 hours of battery life for both Chromebooks. These devices come with SuperSpeed USB 3.0, USB 2.0 port, HDMI port and Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack. Both devices offer 100GB of Google Drive storage.

The post HP announces two new ultra-thin Chrombooks appeared first on The Mukt.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • diction: The words you choose and why
  • style: Similar idea, different direction
  • SMS based Cosmos Browser for the developing countries
    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.
  • Keyboard Modifiers State indicator For Ubuntu: Xkbmod Indicator

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

Sorry, Windows 9 Fans, This Is How Multiple Desktops Should Work – Video

The Linux platform has always taken pride in this cool feature. Having multiple desktops is a great way to increase the productivity and there are numerous means to implement it. Lots of Linux distributions have this option, which is used in various ways. Read more