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February 2014

Tor developing anonymous instant messenger

Filed under
OSS
Security

The instant messenger is still in the early planning stages, but Tor's developers seem to be preparing to turn it around quickly. The messenger will be built on Instantbird, an existing open-source messenger, and development will largely involve adding in Off-the-Record Messaging encryption, making it send its messages over Tor, and stripping it of some automated logging and reporting features. Tor hopes to have its first step of work on the messaging app completed by the end of March, but it doesn't draw a timeline for the project out from there.

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Raspberry Pi marks 2nd birthday with plan for open source graphics driver

Filed under
Hardware

That "blob" is the closed source driver code that the Pi requires today. "In common with every other mobile graphics core, using the VideoCore IV 3D graphics core on the Pi requires a block of closed-source binary driver code (a 'blob') which talks to the hardware," Upton wrote. "Our existing open-source graphics drivers are a thin shim running on the ARM11, which talks to that blob via a communication driver in the Linux kernel. The lack of true open-source graphics drivers and documentation is widely acknowledged to be a significant problem for Linux on ARM, as it prevents users from fixing driver bugs, adding features and generally understanding what their hardware is doing."

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Linux Video of the Week: Hands-On with the $25 Firefox Phone

Filed under
Linux
Moz/FF

Mozilla has designed a phone that's even more affordable for emerging markets and thus redefines the entry level for smartphones. Mozilla engineers were able to accomplish this by adjusting the hardware requirements of the operating system to run on a 1 GHz CPU, single core Spreadtrum chipset with only 128 MB of RAM. That's only 25 to 50 percent of the RAM found in existing entry-level devices on the market, said Joe Cheng, product manager at Mozilla in this video demonstration of the prototype phone, below.

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Arduino-compatible open SBC taps Cortex-A5 SoC

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Newark Element14′s $79, Linux-ready “SAMA5D3 Xplained” SBC showcases Atmel’s SAMA5D3 processor, with features like dual LAN ports and Arduino compatibility.

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Ubuntu smartphones, wearables and going into space: Mark Shuttleworth talks to TNW

Filed under
Ubuntu

t’s the difference between momentary terror and long, drawn out gnawing fear. One of those will kill you and one will just give you a fright.”

That’s the response of Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu, when quizzed over whether it’s scarier to go into space or try to launch a unified OS platform. As the first citizen of an independent African country to travel to space and the public face of ensuring the Ubuntu OS makes it onto smartphones and tablets, he should know.

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Google Android chief: Android may be open, but it is not less secure

Filed under
Android
Google
Security

Does 'open' mean 'lack of security'?

According to Google, no. Instead, an open platform is the best path to take in order to make a platform as impermeable to threats as possible.

On Thursday, FrAndroid reported that Google's head of the Android division, Sundar Pichai, responded in a very candid way when asked about the operating system's security at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

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Gnome 3.12 won’t offer full support for Wayland

Filed under
GNOME

Gnome developers have been debating the full support for Wayland in 3.12 for a while. They at one point even considered delaying the Gnome release to keep the development in sync with Wayland. Finally, developers have decided to keep Wayland in ‘preview’ mode as there is still a lot of work to be done.

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Putting Tizen in Context

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

From the very start, Tizen has had the concept of device profiles, where there's a common set of core software components (kernel, coreutils, networking stack, etc.) that are applicable to every type of device, and there are specializations specific to whatever it is you're using. Take your hand and open it flat. Ok? Good. Your palm is the core software stack, and your fingers are the device-specific profiles - handset, IVI, TV, etc. Chances are good that many elements of the core stack will be the same, and in all cases you want to optimize for lower power consumption and better performance, but what a smartphone presents to the user is generally quite different from an IVI system, or a wearable device, or a camera, or a TV, or a refrigerator, or... I'm sure you get the point. One size doesn't fit all, but you certainly can be smart about not reinventing the wheel for each product class.

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Linux Gamers Have More Choices Than Ever

Filed under
Linux
Gaming

After a number of years of remaining woefully behind other platforms, Linux is starting to be a gaming platform to take seriously. Late last year, I covered comments from Lars Gustavsson, a creative director for EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE), the Electronic Arts studio that does the Battlefield series, on the topic of Linux games. He had told Polygon that DICE would love to delve into Linux games, and that what Linux really needs is a "killer game." Now, as 2014 is underway, Linux gamers actually have a lot of good choices.

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First beta of Kubuntu 14.04 out for testing

Filed under
KDE

Ubuntu derivatives have announced the first beta for 14.04 release. Since ‘daddy’ Ubuntu releases only one beta before final release the images for Unity are not available. Being a KDE user I am definitely looking forward to Kubuntu which will come with KDE Applications 4.12.2 along with newest Muon Software Center. I did notice a bug in Kubuntu beta and that’s freezing of installer if you have more than one hard drive attached to the system. I hope developers will fix this ‘deal breaking’ bug before the final release. Other betas are from Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome and other members of Ubuntu family.

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More in Tux Machines

Porteus 3.1 RC1 Is a Bleeding Edge Slackaware-Based Distro with Linux Kernel 3.17

Porteus is a special operating system that is designed to be very fast and feature all kind of bleeding edge features. It's also optimized to run from all sorts of mediums, not just hard disks. It's built on Slackware and it's extremely small, a characteristic that is determined by the fact that it's always loaded completely in the memory. Another interesting aspect of the distro is the fact that it uses modules instead of a package manager. These modules can precompiled for the operating system and users can just activate and deactivate them. Also, installing modules in Porteus works very intuitively and it can be done by double clicking on the modules. Read more

Five Best Linux Desktop Environments

Whether you're customizing your Linux install or choosing a distro to go with, one of your many options is the desktop environment you use. There are tons to choose from, all with different benefits and features. There may be no one single best, but this week we're looking at five of them, based on your nominations. Earlier in the week we asked you to tell us which Linux desktop environment was your favorite—mind you, we're talking about DEs, not distributions—and you replied with tons of great options, from the useful to the hilarious. Let's take a look at the five nominees that rose to the top, thanks to your votes, in no particular order: Read more

IBM Tweaks Power-Linux Discount Deal In Europe

IBM has made it pretty clear that it wants more Power Systems customers to adopt Linux for certain parts of their workloads in addition to selling more Power8 systems to customers with Linux workloads that might otherwise buy X86 systems. IBM's European unit is actually doing something about it to try to push Linux. Read more Also: Sharing Power Systems: An IBM i And Linux Story

Parsix OS Is an Interesting GNOME and Debian 7.0 "Whezzy" Blend

The Parsix operating system uses only the GNOME and Debian packages from the stable branches. The developers aim to provide a complete and bug free Linux distribution, at least as much as humanly possible. The fact that the OS is based on Debian "Wheezy" helps a lot, especially because it's now a Long Term release and it comes with all the latest security updates. The developers seem to be follow a specific schedule and this latest version comes just a month after the previous Test. It's not clear just how many of these Testing releases will have, but it does look like the system is getting more stable. Read more