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  • Is free software too good?

    The average free software (free hardware still being too new for trends to be obvious) has always had the same obsessive-compulsive drive to perfection that was so common in the 19th Century. Just as Charles Darwin was obsessed with establishing the case for evolution beyond any doubt, or Richard Francis Burton sought to write the definitive book on swords, so the developers of Krita or the GNOME Shell have always done their best to be be as thorough and complete as they could.

    The same perfectionism also explains why so many pieces of free software include plugins or extensions -- needs vary, and change with time, and free software users and developers are unwilling to wait until new features are fully incorporated into the code. Perfectionism, you might say, has made free software what it is, and, personally, it is one of the traits I admire most in its developers as they satisfy their own sense of fitness to make sure that their code is the best it can be. It is free software's freedom of economic constraints such as the cheapness of plastic compared to hard wood, allows developers to concentrate on excellence.

  • A 100-year-old organization's journey from mainframe to open source to DevOps

    A first step out of this impasse was to look at virtual servers as a way of saying, “How can we get more bang for our buck?” Our server room represented a lot of very pricey real estate, but it only seemed to keep growing. We asked ourselves, why did additional growth have to mean a new electrical circuit and adding new cooling? Within about three years we were 90 percent virtualized, and we got very comfortable with running virtual machines.

  • Attending technical conferences: What's the big deal?

    Law and technology are becoming increasingly entwined, and many technical folks don't or can't make time in their regular schedules to stay on top of the issues. Conferences are a great place to learn about upcoming legislation, important court cases, and the organizations that are keeping an eye on the developments that affect both the FOSS community and the broader tech industry.

  • Award for Ireland building regulations software

    Ireland’s Building Control Management System has won the 2016 eGov ‘Open Source Award’. The document work-flow solution was developed in 2014 for the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), and is now used by all 31 local authorities in the country.

  • Hacking the farm with low-cost, open source tool designs

    After starting his own farm in Missouri, Marcin Jakubowski quickly discovered it's an expensive business. The tools he needed to start and maintain a sustainable farm didn't exist, so he set out to design them himself.

    Marcin published a collection of his open source designs, called the Global Village Construction Set, to the Open Source Ecology wiki. Soon, just as in open source software, others from around the world began to collaborate with him in designing these new machines.

    According to the wiki, "Global Village Construction Set is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that enables fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts."

More in Tux Machines

ARTIK is the Tizen’s Trojan Horse to dominate the IoT ecosystem

As part of the Forum “Tizen for the Internet of Things” held on September 22 in Moscow, Samsung Electronics has presented a new family of maker boards and modules named ARTIK, in addition to the infrastructure of the operating system Tizen 3.0. Samsung ARTIK’s value proposition, as declared by Samsung, is to reinvent the prototyping process by leveraging world-class data security granted by the company as well as a wide array of tools, both hardware and software, such as the ARTIK Modules and Cloud, formerly known as SmartThings Open Cloud. Read more

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Android Leftovers

  • Google Pixel review: The best Android phone, even if it is a little pricey
    Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again). Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of "Senior Vice President," Osterloh doesn't oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group's coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we're looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. The arrival of the Pixel phones marks the apparent death of the Nexus line; Google says that it has "no plans" for future Nexus devices. With the new branding comes a change in strategy, too. The Pixel brand is about making devices that are 100 percent Google, so despite Google's position as the developer of Android, get ready for Google-designed hardware combined with exclusive Google software.
  • Hands-on with the LeEco Le Pro3: services first, Android second
    LeEco’s flagship Le Pro3 smartphone isn’t trying to compete with the Google Pixel, which puts modern Google services in front of a stock Android backdrop. After playing with the Le Pro3 at the company’s U.S. launch event in San Francisco today, I’m left feeling that it’s an easy, low-cost way to get the full experience of LeEco’s applications. There are proprietary LeEco utility tools like the browser, email, calendar, messages, notes, and phone apps, along with bloatware like Yahoo Weather, but mostly the Pro3 is a means of distribution for the LeEco apps, like Live, LeVidi, and Le. There is also a standard-issue My LeEco app for managing services like EcoPass membership. Under it all is the EUI custom user interface. If you swipe left from the home screen, you see videos that LeEco recommends you watch — not Google Now.
  • Report: Google reaches agreement with CBS for 'Unplugged' web TV service - Fox and Disney may follow