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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

ExTiX 15.2 Is Based on Ubuntu 15.04 and Debian 8 Jessie, Features LXQt and KDE Editions

After announcing his new RaspArch distribution that helps users run the powerful Arch Linux distribution on a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B computer board, Arne Exton informed Softpedia about the immediate availability for download of the ExTiX 15.2 Linux operating system. Read more

RaspArch Offers an Easy Way to Run Arch Linux on Raspberry Pi 2

Arne Exton had the pleasure of informing Softpedia about a new distribution of GNU/Linux created from the ground up for the Raspberry Pi 2 tiny computer board and called RaspArch. Read more

Leftovers: Software

  • goobook: Command-line contacts
  • Calibre eBook Editor Gets Much Better Support for DOCX
    Calibre, a complete application to edit, view, and convert eBook files, has been updated yet again, and the developer has added a number of new features and various other fixes.
  • GNOME Builder - 3.16.2
    I released 3.16.0 a couple weeks ago without much fanfare. Despite many months of 16-hour days and weekends, it lacked some of the features I wanted to get into the "initial" release. So I didn't stop. I kept pushing through to make 3.16.2 the best that I could.
  • PacketFence v5.0 released
    The Inverse team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PacketFence 5.0.0. This is a major release with new features, enhancements and important bug fixes. This release is considered ready for production use and upgrading from previous versions is strongly advised.
  • What are good open-source log monitoring tools on Linux
    In an operating system, logs are all about keeping track of events, be it critical system errors, resource usage warnings, transaction history, application status, or user activities. These logs, which are stored as (text or binary) files in the system, are useful for system auditing, debugging and maintenance. However, with so many different system entities generating log files, and even at growing rate, the challenge as a system admin is to how to "consume" these log files effectively.
  • Apache Fortress Core 1.0-RC40 released !
  • Say Hello to Open Source Puppet 4!
    Production-ready Open Source Puppet 4 is now available! We’re excited to announce new features and enhancements that will extend your use of Puppet for faster, more consistent management of server configurations. We’ve added capabilities to help you save time, reduce errors, and increase reliability.
  • textprint: Visually impressive, in only 18K
    textprint takes a flat data file as input, and arranges it graphically to fit the terminal without distorting the image. From there, textprint goes from zero-to-60, in about two seconds.