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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
  •   

  • 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

Today in Techrights

Security: SSL, Microsoft Windows TCO, Security Breach Detection and SIM Hijackers

  • Why Does Google Chrome Say Websites Are “Not Secure”?
    Starting with Chrome 68, Google Chrome labels all non-HTTPS websites as “Not Secure.” Nothing else has changed—HTTP websites are just as secure as they’ve always been—but Google is giving the entire web a shove towards secure, encrypted connections.
  • Biggest Voting Machine Maker Admits -- Ooops -- That It Installed Remote Access Software After First Denying It [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO]
    We've been covering the mess that is electronic voting machines for nearly two decades on Techdirt, and the one thing that still flummoxes me is how are they so bad at this after all these years? And I don't mean "bad at security" -- though, that's part of it -- but I really mean "bad at understanding how insecure their machines really are." For a while everyone focused on Diebold, but Election Systems and Software (ES&S) has long been a bigger player in the space, and had just as many issues. It just got less attention. There was even a brief period of time where ES&S bought what remained of Diebold's flailing e-voting business before having to sell off the assets to deal with an antitrust lawsuit by the DOJ. What's incredible, though, is that every credible computer security person has said that it is literally impossible to build a secure fully electronic voting system -- and if you must have one at all, it must have a printed paper audit trail and not be accessible from the internet. Now, as Kim Zetter at Motherboard has reported, ES&S -- under questioning from Senator Ron Wyden -- has now admitted that it installed remote access software on its voting machines, something the company had vehemently denied to the same reporter just a few months ago.
  • Bringing cybersecurity to the DNC [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO. Microsoft Exchange was used.]
    When Raffi Krikorian joined the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as chief technology officer, the party was still reeling from its devastating loss in 2016 — and the stunning cyberattacks that resulted in high-level officials’ emails being embarrassingly leaked online.
  • Getting Started with Successful Security Breach Detection
    Organizations historically believed that security software and tools were effective at protecting them from hackers. Today, this is no longer the case, as modern businesses are now connected in a digital global supply ecosystem with a web of connections to customers and suppliers. Often, organizations are attacked as part of a larger attack on one of their customers or suppliers. They represent low hanging fruit for hackers, as many organizations have not invested in operationalizing security breach detection. As this new reality takes hold in the marketplace, many will be tempted to invest in new technology tools to plug the perceived security hole and move on with their current activities. However, this approach is doomed to fail. Security is not a "set it and forget it" type of thing. Defending an organization from a breach requires a careful balance of tools and operational practices -- operational practices being the more important element.
  • The SIM Hijackers

    By hijacking Rachel’s phone number, the hackers were able to seize not only Rachel’s Instagram, but her Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, Netflix, and Hulu accounts too. None of the security measures Rachel took to secure some of those accounts, including two-factor authentication, mattered once the hackers took control of her phone number.

GNU/Linux Desktops/Laptops and Windows Spying

  • Changes [Pop!_OS]

    For the last 12 years, my main development machine has been a Mac. As of last week, it’s a Dell XPS 13 running Pop!_OS 18.04.

    [...]

    Take note: this is the first operating system I’ve used that is simpler, more elegant, and does certain things better than macOS.

  • System76 Opens Manufacturing Facility to Build Linux Laptops
    As it turns out, System76 is making the transition from a Linux-based computer seller, into a complete Linux-based computer manufacturer. The Twitter photos are from their new manufacturing facility. This means that System76 will no longer be slapping their logo on other company’s laptops and shipping them out, but making their own in-house laptops for consumers.
  • Extension adding Windows Timeline support to third-party browsers should have raised more privacy questions
    Windows Timeline is a unified activity history explorer that received a prominent placement next to the Start menu button in Windows 10 earlier this year. You can see all your activities including your web browser history and app activity across all your Windows devices in one place; and pickup and resume activities you were doing on other devices. This is a useful and cool feature, but it’s also a privacy nightmare. You may have read about a cool new browser extension that adds your web browsing history from third-party web browsers — including Firefox, Google Chrome, Vivaldi, and others — to Windows Timeline. The extension attracted some media attention from outlets like MSPoweruser, Neowin, The Verge, and Windows Central.

Public money, public code? FSFE spearheads open-source initiative

Last September, the non-profit Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) launched a new campaign that calls for EU-wide legislation that requires publicly financed software developed for the public sector to be made publicly available under a free and open-source software license. According to the ‘Public Money, Public Code’ open letter, free and open-source software in the public sector would enable anyone to “use, study, share, and improve applications used on a daily basis”. The initiative, says the non-profit, would provide safeguards against public sector organizations being locked into services from specific companies that use “restrictive licenses” to hinder competition. The FSFE also says the open-source model would help improve security in the public sector, as it would allow backdoors and other vulnerabilities to fixed quickly, without depending on one single service provider. Since its launch, the Public Money, Public Code initiative has gained the support of 150 organizations, including WordPress Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, and Tor, along with nearly 18,000 individuals. With the initiative now approaching its first anniversary, The Daily Swig caught up with FSFE spokesperson Paul Brown, who discussed the campaign’s progress. Read more