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The Ubuntu design team announced a while ago that they were planning to update the old icon theme used until now in the recent Ubuntu OSes. Canonical made some small modifications over time, but the icons no longer fit with the plans for a convergent experience.
GCC 4.9 is running slightly behind schedule compared to its 4.8 release last year, but it's landing heavy. As of this morning, the GCC 4.9.0 code was down to zero P1 regressions (the most severe regressions) while there's less than 100 less severe regressions. With the code reaching that state today, Jakub Jelinek of Red Hat has noted in his status report that GCC 4.9 was branched and the GCC 4.9.0-rc1 version built and announced. The GCC 4.9 code branch is frozen and only blocking regressions and documentation fixes will be allowed. The plan is to do the final GCC 4.9.0 release after Easter monday (21 April) while an RC2 is coming next week.
Calibre 1.32, an eBook reader and management software developed for multiple platforms, including Linux, has just been released and it incorporates a number of important changes and improvements.
As you’ve no doubt heard over the years from writers and enthusiasts far beardier than I, there are all sorts of reasons for switching to Linux, from financial to ideological to functional, and everything in between. For some tasks, Linux is far superior to Windows. More importantly, though, there are many tasks where Windows isn’t significantly better than Linux — such as surfing the web (Chrome for Ubuntu is the same as Chrome for Windows or OS X). Even for gaming, Linux is definitely catching up with Windows, thanks to Steam and the Source engine.
The Free Software Foundation has given an annual award this year for work that enslaves people to the demands of Microsoft - something that flies in the face of all that the organisation has stood for since its founding.
The award in question was given to developer Matthew Garrett, for work done while he was an employee of Red Hat, to enable Linux to boot on computer systems that have secure boot enabled. Garrett no longer works for Red Hat.
Just days before its first Project Ara Developer Conference is scheduled to begin, Google has released the device's Module Developers Kit (MDK), a set of plans and documentation designed to get hardware hackers started building modules for the componentized, mix-and-match experimental smartphone.
Google first unveiled Project Ara in 2013 as a research project within its Motorola Mobility division. But although it's in the process of selling off most of Motorola to Lenovo, the Chocolate Factory has kept Ara in-house, where it appears to be moving full steam ahead.
Chromebooks are also getting support for folders in launcher. What it means is that now, like Android, you can create folders and club your apps in a much organzied manner. Google has also implemented the “OK Google” search feature with the launcher and the voice search can be triggered with hotword “Ok Google”. Google has also implemented support for ‘Captive Portal’ which makes it easier for users when they try to connect to the wireless of cafes, hotels, airports, and other locations which requiers them to go to an authentication page.
Firefox OS, currently available in version 1.3, has never been known for its good looks. However, it has jumped out to an early, if modest, lead among mobile Linux operating systems for other reasons. For example, it has already shipped in commercial phones, and is quite usable. It’s dead simple, and re-imagines mobile phones from the start as browser devices. It also manages to squeeze every ounce of power from modest, earlier generation Snapdragon processors.
A second Git pull request has been made for the ACPI and power management code within the kernel for Linux 3.15.
This computer-assisted engineering (CAE) distro clearly is not for the vast majority of Linux users, but it certainly has all the features you would expect in any mature Linux OS -- and then some.
The extra ingredients make CAELinux a unique Linux distro for engineers and engineering students, as well as scientists. It offers an unusual mix of Xubuntu 12.04 LTS 64-bit with a customized Xfce desktop environment. An enhanced run mode gives good performance directly from the DVD or from a USB drive without any hard drive installation.
The Document Foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 4.2.3 which is available for free download. The foundation says “LibreOffice 4.2.3 ‘Fresh’ is the most feature rich version of the software, and is suited for early adopters willing to leverage a larger number of innovations. For enterprise deployments and for more conservative users, The Document Foundation suggests the more mature LibreOffice 4.1.5 ‘Stable’.”
Today in Linuxville, Jack Germain reviews CAELinux, a distribution with "specialized software for printing, graphical display, engineering and electronics." Elsewhere, Sam Varghese says the Linux community should have never buckled to Microsoft's UEFI Secure Boot pressure. And finally, Matt Hartley says tech journalists are always getting Linux technical details wrong.
I decided that 2014 for me was going to be the year of the Network Attached Storage (NAS). Last year was the year that I finally abandoned my desktops and went all laptop for both my Mac-based iOS development workflow and general purpose computing (i.e, everything else on my Acer i5 running Lubuntu). This year I wanted to have a massive centralized storage where I could put all my videos and photos so I can access it from any laptop or mobile device. What follows is what I chose and how to hook it up to Lubuntu.
It has been about 3 years since my primary hardware machine has been upgraded. I already had 16GB of RAM, two 1920 x 1200 monitors, a Filco mechanical keyboard, and a graphics tablet. OK, I admit that the CPU is showing a little age, but it was an AMD Phenom II X4 965 quad-core processor, and that still has some life left in it.
So I decided to update my graphics card, which was an Nvidia GeForce 440.
Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has been upgraded yet again, has just received a new update, promoting the 35 development branch to Beta.
Announced by Marvell as a double design win, the Swisscom TV 2.0 set-top box (STB) runs on the Armada 1500 Plus system-on-chip unveiled by Marvell back in December. The SoC is an upgrade to the Armada 1500, which was the designated SoC for Google TV 2.0 set-tops and smart TVs. It is expected that the Armada 1500 Plus will be one of the principle SoC pairings with the upcoming successor to GoogleTV, rumored to be called Android TV. However, it is also likely Google will work with a variety of SoC platforms as part of a move to loosen up previous Google TV requirements that many vendors found too restricting.
FFmpeg developers have released a major 2.2 update only a few weeks ago, and a lot of new features have been added such as HNM version 4 demuxer and video decoder, Live HDS muxer, a complete Voxware MetaSound decoder, WebP encoding via libwebp, VP8 in Ogg demuxing, libx265 encoder, and more.
Firefox OS 2.0 plans include copy and paste support, a new mechanism for launching apps and switching among them, a more useful lock screen, a find-my phone system, and more. Those features will be crucial to the success of the nascent OS, which lags Android and iOS by years but which is critical to Mozilla's continued relevance.