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June 2014

Android Wear review: the everything inbox

Filed under
Android
Gadgets

It's not just email either, though it tends to take the brunt of everybody's anger. There are dozens of apps sending us hundreds of notifications; managing all that incoming information is a genuine hassle. Looking at the notification center on our phones, it's hard not to imagine some harried, 1930s office worker. His tie is loosened, sleeves rolled up, sweat beading on his forehead underneath a green visor as he looks at the metal tray marked "INBOX" on his desk. It's piled high with a stack of paper, sent to him from people he doesn't know and doesn't love.

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TI spins Cortex-A9 Sitara SoC

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware

TI unveiled a 1GHz, Cortex-A9 Sitara “AM437x” SoC with a 3D GPU, a Linux SDK, and an updated PRU module for dual simultaneous control of fieldbus protocols.

The Sitara AM437x is a major upgrade to the Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x, as well as the related Sitara AM3715 and Sitara AM3874. The Sitara AM437x is said to offer up to 40 percent more processing power than previous Sitara processors.

The Sitara AM437x begins sampling in July, and is available as part of a Linux-ready, $599 TMDXEVM437X evaluation kit (see farther below). Like other Sitara SoCs, the AM437x is aimed primarily at industrial applications. Suggested pairings include factory automation, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), home automation gateways, Internet of Things (IoT) gateways, and human machine interface (HMI).

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digiKam Software Collection 4.1.0 released

Filed under
GNU
KDE
Linux

digiKam is the closest thing you can get in GNU/Linux based systems (also on proprietary operating systems) which costs nothing. It’s one of the many extremely polished and feature rich open source applications developed by the KDE community. The digiKam community has announced the release of version 4.1.0 which include many bug fixes for the 4.0.0 release.

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Linux Mint 17: Fresh and Long-Lasting

Filed under
Reviews

Linux Mint 17 is very impressive, but it is often said that the devil is in the details. With Linux Mint 17, the accumulated details are very devilish indeed. The development team did a hell of a job making this Linux distro smoother and better. The GUI for System Settings has a more consistent look. The categories are better organized and separated into subsections.

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Peppermint Five Linux Brings the Cloud to Linux Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

As the world increasingly moves to cloud-based infrastructure and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, the needs of traditional desktop users are changing. The Peppermint OS Linux platform is an effort to integrate the cloud SaaS world with the desktop in a seamless hybrid approach. Peppermint had its 1.0 release back in 2010, and the technology has been steadily updated ever since. The Peppermint Five Linux distribution was officially released on June 23, providing an updated software base and new features for Peppermint OS users. Peppermint Five is based on the recent Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support (LTS) Linux release that debuted on April 17.

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Ubuntu phone release date: on track for 2014 launch

Filed under
Ubuntu

In 2013, Canonical - the company behind Ubuntu - attempted to raise $32m via crowdfunding for its Ubuntu Edge smartphone. It didn't make it, but the Ubuntu phone isn't dead. In fact, development is well under way and the Ubuntu phone operating system is very much alive.

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3 open source content management systems compared

Filed under
OSS
Drupal

Whether you need to set up a blog, a portal for some specific usage, or any other website, which content management system is right for you? is a question you are going to ask yourself early on. The most well-known and widely used open source content management system (CMS) platforms are: Joomla, Wordpress, and Drupal. They are all based on PHP and MySQL and offer a wide range of options to users and developers alike.

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The People Who Support Linux: Hacking on Linux Since Age 16

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

Pretty much all of the projects in software developer Yitao Li's GitHub repository were developed on his Linux machine. None of them are necessarily Linux-specific, he says, but he uses Linux for “everything.”

For example: “coding / scripting, web browsing, web hosting, anything cloud-related, sending / receiving PGP signed emails, tweaking IP table rules, flashing OpenWrt image into routers, running one version of Linux kernel while compiling another version, doing research, doing homework (e.g., typing math equations in Tex), and many others...” Li said via email.

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Privacy focused Blackphone starts shipping

Filed under
Android
Security

Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone developed by Silent Circle, SGP Technologies and Geeksphone, is now shipping. The phone became a sensation during Mobile World Congress as it offered extreme privacy of communication. After the NSA revelations made by Edward Snowden, there is a huge demand for services or devices which offer privacy from NSA and other surveillance agencies. However even the Blackphone doesn’t offer any protection from NSA. Phil Zimmermann, one of the creators of the phone, said that Blackphone doesn’t make you NSA proof.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: Software

  • Hyper Is a Terminal Emulator Built Using Web Technologies
    A lot of us use the terminal on Ubuntu, typically from an app like GNOME Terminal, Xterm or an app like Guake. But did you know that there’s an JS/HTML/CSS Terminal? It’s called Hyper (formerly/also known as HyperTerm, though it has no relation to the Windows terminal of the same/similar name) and, usefulness aside, it’s certainl a novel proof-of-concept. “The goal of the project,” according to the official website, “is to create a beautiful and extensible experience for command-line interface users, built on open web standards.”
  • Little Kids Having Fun With “Terminal Train” In Ubuntu Linux
    Linux is often stereotyped as the operating system for tech savvy users and developers. However, there are some fun Linux commands that one can use in spare time. A small utility named sl can be installed in Linux to play with the Terminal Train.
  • This Cool 8-Bit Desktop Wallpaper Changes Throughout The Day
    Do you want a dynamic desktop wallpaper that changes throughout the day and looks like the sort of environment you’d be able to catchPokemon in? If so, check out Bit Day wallpapers. Created by Redditor user ~BloodyMarvelous, Bit Day is a collection of 12 high-resolution pixel art wallpapers.
  • This Script Sets Wallpapers from Imgur As Your Desktop Background
    Pyckground is a simple python script that can fetch a new desktop background on the Cinnamon desktop from any Imgur gallery you want. I came across it while doing a bit of background on the Bit Day wallpaper pack, and though it was nifty enough to be of use to some of you. So how does it work?
  • Productivity++
    In keeping with tradition of LTS aftermaths, the upcoming Plasma 5.9 release – the next feature release after our first Long Term Support Edition – will be packed with lots of goodies to help you get even more productive with Plasma!
  • Core Apps Hackfest 2016: report
    I spent last weekend at the Core Apps Hackfest in Berlin. The agenda was to work on GNOME’s core applications: Documents, Files, Music, Photos, Videos, Usage, etc.; to raise their overall standard and to make them push beyond the limits of the framework. There were 19 of us and among us we covered a wide range of modules and areas of expertise. I spent most of my time on the plumbing necessary for Documents and Photos to use GtkFlowBox and GtkListBox. The innards of Photos had already been overhauled to reduce its dependency on GtkTreeModel. Going into the hackfest we were sorely lacking a widget that had all the bells and whistles we need — the idiomatic GNOME 3 selection mode, and seamlessly switching between a list and grid view. So, this is where I decided to focus my energy. As a result, we now have a work-in-progress GdMainBox widget in libgd to replace the old GtkIconView/GtkTreeView-based GdMainView.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Did Amazon Just Kill Open Source?
    Back in the days, we used to focus on creating modular architectures. We had standard wire protocols like NFS, RPC, etc. and standard API layers like BSD, POSIX, etc. Those were fun days. You could buy products from different vendors, they actually worked well together and were interchangeable. There were always open source implementations of the standard, but people could also build commercial variations to extend functionality or durability. The most successful open source project is Linux. We tend to forget it has very strict APIs and layers. New kernel implementations must often be backed by official standards (USB, SCSI…). Open source and commercial implementations live happily side by side in Linux. If we contrast Linux with the state of open source today, we see so many implementations which overlap. Take the big data eco-systems as an example: in most cases there are no standard APIs, or layers, not to mention standard wire protocols. Projects are not interchangeable, causing a much worse lock-in than when using commercial products which conform to a common standard.
  • Firebird 3 by default in LibreOffice 5.4 (Base)
    Lots of missing features & big bugs were fixed recently . All of the blockers that were initially mentioned on tracking bug are now fixed.
  • Linux & Open Source News Of The Week — Comma.ai, Patches For Firefox and Tor, And OSS-Fuzz
  • Open Source Malaria helps students with proof of concept toxoplasmosis pill
    A team of Australian student researchers at Sydney Grammar School has managed to recreate the formula for Daraprim, the drug made (in)famous by the actions of Turing Pharmaceuticals last year when it increased the price substantially per pill. According to Futurism, the undertaking was helped along by an, “online research-sharing platform called Open Source Malaria [OSM], which aims to use publicly available drugs and medical techniques to treat malaria.” The students’ pill passed a battery of tests for purity, and ultimately cost $2 using different, more readily available components. It shows the potential of the platform, which has said elsewhere there is, “enormous potential to crowdsource new potential medicines efficiently.” Although Daraprim is already around, that it could be synthesized relatively easily without the same materials as usual is a good sign for OSM.
  • Growing the Duke University eNable chapter
    We started the Duke University eNable chapter with the simple mission of providing amputees in the Durham area of North Carolina with alternative prostheses, free of cost. Our chapter is a completely student-run organization that aims to connect amputees with 3D printed prosthetic devices. We are partnered with the Enable Community Foundation (ECF), a non-profit prosthetics organization that works with prosthetists to design and fit 3D printed prosthetic devices on amputees who are in underserved communities. As an official ECF University Chapter, we represent the organization in recipient outreach, and utilize their open sourced designs for prosthetic devices.

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