Parental Controls for Linux Unleashed
For years, one of the overlooked areas for the Linux desktop was access to “effective” parental controls. Back in 2003, I remember the now defunct Linspire (then known as Lindows) offered a proprietary option called SurfSafe. Surprisingly, at least back then, the product worked very well in providing accurate content filtering capabilities; something that was not,in fact, available and easy-to-use at that time.
Years later, an open-source alternative was released to the greater Linux community known as GNOME Nanny. Fantastic in terms of usage control, its web content web filter was laughably terrible. As expected, crowd-sourcing a filtering list isn’t a great solution. And like SurfSafe, the project is now defunct.
Chapeau 24 Cancellara - Same same but different
Fedora plus Moka icons plus some extra software, mainly coming from proprietary sources. I guess that's the best way to describe Chapeau. But then, what separates one distro from another if not a collection of decorations, as software is essentially the same, apart from a very small number of standalone distributions trying to develop their own identity with their own desktop environments and app stack, re: elementary or Solus + Budgie? Except they struggle, too.
Chapeau 24 is a nice effort to make Fedora friendlier, but then it does not achieve the needed result without pain. The biggest issues included a botched smartphone support. Samba woes and the horrible bootloader bug. Other than that, it behaved more or less the same way as the parent distro. Then again, why bother if you can pimp up Fedora without any loss of functionality?
I do like Chapeau Cancellara, but I cannot ignore the fact Fedora does the same with fewer problems. All in all, it's a welcome effort, but it needs more polish. It does not quite capture the heart the way Fuduntu did. And with some issues looming high above the distro, the grade can only be about 6/10. Most importantly, the bootloader setup must be flawless, and there's not excuse for small app errors that we've seen. We know it can do more. Anyhow, if you're not keen on any self-service round Fedora, this could be a good test bed for your games. A moderately worthy if somewhat risky and flawed experience.
Mofo Linux: The Raw Materials for Security
The developers of Mofo Linux talk a good game. From the name’s origin in abusive street slang to its self-description on the home page as “Linux designed to defeat state censorship and surveillance,” Mofo presents itself as a champion of security and privacy. Nor is the claim unjustified. However, rather than putting security and privacy into the hands of ordinary users, Mofo simply presents the tools and leaves users to figure them out with a minimum of help. The result is a promising distribution that with only slightly more work, could be a leading one.
Just possibly, though, this approach is a deliberate tactic, and not the carelessness it appears. Based on Ubuntu, the current release of Mofo offers nothing different in the way of productivity tools. It uses Unity for a desktop, and its applications are the standard GNOME ones. In fact, Mofo shows such little interest in such matters that it does not bother to change the title bar in the installer from Ubuntu.
Happily Announcing Mageia 5.1
As we’re getting closer to the end of the year, Mageia has a present for you! We are very pleased to announce the release of Mageia 5.1!
This release – like Mageia 4.1 was in its time – is a respin of the Mageia 5 installation and Live ISO images, based on the Mageia 5 repository and incorporating all updates to allow for an up to date installation without the need to install almost a year and a half worth of updates. It is therefore recommended for new installations and upgrades from Mageia 4.
The new images are available from the downloads page, both directly and through torrents.
Also: After a long wait, Mageia was released! Well, sort of...