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Desktop/Mobile: Google Pixelbook, The Geezer and the Penguin, ThinkPad Anniversary, Pixel 2 and Purism’s Linux Phone

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Android
GNU
Linux
Gaming
  • Google Pixelbook hands-on: Stunning hardware with the usual limited OS

    The Google Pixelbook is the latest in a line of flagship Chrome OS laptops that are extremely nice and extremely expensive. If it ran anything other than Chrome OS, it would be a top-tier laptop, but it does run Chrome OS, so for $1,000, it's kind of a hard sell.

    Boy, is it a sharp piece of hardware. It's wrapped in aluminum, like previous Chromebook Pixels. The palm rest is covered in a rubbery silicon pad, which feels fantastic to rest your wrists on while typing. It also serves as a great gripping point when you fold the laptop into its various modes. Hopefully this surface can stand up to the wear and tear of a laptop palm rest.

    The back has a top glass panel, just like the Pixel Phones, which serves to let wireless signals in and out. The screen has a glass cover, too, along with the trackpad. The Google Hardware division is clearly working hard to make its products look like a cohesive family, and you can tell the basis for the Pixelbook's back design is the white-and-silver Google Pixel. Just like the phone, the laptop has a silver-colored metal body with a contrasting, white-colored glass back. The only problem is that the silver/white color scheme only matches last year's Google Pixel. This year, a silver body is not an option on the Pixel 2. So close, Google!

  • The Geezer and the Penguin

    Microsoft was not interested in giving away any secrets, of course, but I found there was a whole different system called Linux that was famous for revealing every detail of how its software operated.

    At the time, Linux was often described in the general press as being for geeks only, but all the people who seemed to know something about it said Linux just took a bit of learning-by-experience – you didn't have to be an IT expert. In my archives I've saved an article from 2007 in PC Magazine by Neil Randall titled "Linux – you can do it!" That's the one that really gave me hope.

  • Lenovo Unwraps the 25th Anniversary ThinkPad [Ed: much to celebrate though?]

    Lenovo chose to unwrap the limited-edition anniversary version of its most famous laptop on the ThinkPad’s 25th birthday

  • Lenovo’s 25th Anniversary ThinkPad brings back the keyboard we love
  • 6 Times Google Made Fun Of Apple At Pixel 2 Launch Event
  • 6 Best Free Android Music Players : 2017 Edition
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  • Crowdfunder for a free/open phone crosses $1M mark

    One of the holy grails of free and open computing is a really great free/open phone; it's been tried many times before without much success, but a new crowdfunder from Purism (who make a pretty great free/open laptop) has just crossed the $1,000,000 mark and is on track to hit its target of $1.5M in the next 18 days.

  • Purism’s Linux Phone Crowdfunder Just Passed $1 Million

More in Tux Machines

New: NuTyX 9.93 and Linux Mint 18.3

  • NuTyX 9.93 available with cards 2.3.105
    The NuTyX team is please to annonce the 9.93 release of NuTyX. NuTyX 9.92 comes with kernel LTS 4.14.6, glibc 2.26, gcc 7.2.0, binutils 2.29.1, python 3.6.0, xorg-server 1.19.5, qt 5.10.0, KDE plasma 5.11.3, KDE Framework 5.41.0, KDE Applications 17.12.0, mate 1.18.2, xfce4 4.12.4, firefox 57.0.2 Quantum, etc...
  • Linux Mint 18.3 'Sylvia' Xfce and KDE editions are available for download
    Linux Mint is killing the KDE version of its operaring system -- a move some people applaud. That's what makes the new 18.3 version -- named "Sylvia" -- so frustrating. It's bizarre to release a new version of an operating system that essentially has no future. But oh well, here we are. After a short beta period, the KDE distro is now available for download -- if you still care. I recommend that KDE loyalists just switch to Kubuntu or Netrunner, but I digress. Despite being the final version of Linux Mint KDE, it is still a great alternative to the consistently disappointing Windows 10. After all, it has been discovered that Microsoft is bundling a bug-ridden password-manager with its operating system without user consent! How can you trust such an OS?! Sigh.
  • Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE and Xfce Editions Officially Released, Download Now
    The Linux Mint team released the final Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" Xfce and Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE editions to download, as well as an upgrade for existing Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" users. Previously in beta, the Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE and Xfce editions are now officially released and ready for production use. Just like the Cinnamon and MATE flavors, they are based on Canonical's long-term supported Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system and use the Linux 4.10 kernel by default for new installations.

GNU: Glibc, GIMP, GCC

  • Glibc 2.27 Lands Yet More Performance Optimizations
    Earlier this month I wrote how Intel engineers have been busy with continuing to tune glibc's performance with FMA and AVX optimizations. That work has continued but also other architectures continue tuning their GNU C Library performance ahead of the expected v2.27 update. There has been a ton of optimization work this cycle, particularly on the Intel/x86_64 front. For those with newer Intel 64-bit processors, this next glibc release is shaping up to be a speedy update.
  • GIMP PIcks Up Support For The New Flatpak/FreeDesktop.org Screenshot API
    Hot off the release of the new GIMP 2.9.8 and ahead of the expected GIMP 2.10 release candidates that are expected to begin, a new addition to GIMP is a plug-in supporting the new FreeDesktop.org/Flatpak screenshot API. The org.freedesktop.portal.Screenshot specification aims to be a screenshot API that will work not only cross-desktop (e.g. KDE, GNOME, etc) but also work for sandboxed applications (i.e. Flatpak) and also work regardless of whether you are using Wayland or X11.
  • GCC Prepares For Fortran 2018 Support
    The Fortran committee decided last month to rename the upcoming Fortran 2015 programming language update to Fortran 2018. GCC support is being prepped. With this updated programming language technical specification not expected to be published until mid-2018, the committee behind this long-standing programming language decided to rename Fortran 2015 to Fortran 2018. Fortran 2018 should further improve interoperability with C code, improve its parallel programming capabilities, support hexadecimal inputs/outputs, and other improvements over Fortran 2008.

Security: Hackers, Back Doors, Microsoft Scam and Bots

  • Why Hackers Are in Such High Demand, and How They're Affecting Business Culture
    News headlines often focus on the hackers who launch cyber attacks and leak confidential data such as National Security Agency exploits, sensitive political emails, and unreleased HBO programming, but hackers can also affect organizations in positive ways. White hat hackers (as opposed to black hats) increasingly are finding employment in companies as security researchers. From conducting penetration tests and identifying vulnerabilities in software to providing companies with guidance about emerging threats, white hat hackers bring considerable value to organizations and play an instrumental role in helping them defend against today's advanced threats. White hats are highly coveted not only for their knowledge but also for their unique mindsets and ability to change corporate culture.
  • We need to talk about mathematical backdoors in encryption algorithms
    Security researchers regularly set out to find implementation problems in cryptographic algorithms, but not enough effort is going towards the search for mathematical backdoors, two cryptography professors have argued. Governments and intelligence agencies strive to control and bypass or circumvent cryptographic protection of data and communications. Backdooring encryption algorithms is considered as the best way to enforce cryptographic control. In defence of cryptography, researchers have set out to validate technology that underpins the secure exchange of information and e-commerce. Eric Filiol,  head of research at ESIEA, the operational cryptology and virology lab, argued that only implementation backdoors (at the protocol/implementation/management level) are generally considered. Not enough effort is being put into looking for mathematical backdoors or by-design backdoors, he maintains.
  • How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet
     

    Originally, prosecutors say, the defendants hadn’t intended to bring down the internet—they had been trying to gain an advantage in the computer game Minecraft.

  • Microsoft's Edge browser is in serious trouble
     

    Analytics firm Net Applications revised its methodology to cull bots from its browser share numbers and found that as much as half of the traffic to Edge on Windows 10 was artificially inflated.  

Mobile Linux: Tizen and Android