Foisting computers on schools has been a lucrative business, one easily disguised as charity. Among Pearson’s allies is the Gates Foundation, which works alongside Microsoft’s education arm to promote the Common Core in schools and support libraries, with Microsoft software in hand. Gates’ competitor for the richest-person-in-the-world slot, Mexican telecom monopolist Carlos Slim, has proposed to bypass schools altogether by bankrolling the online-only Khan Academy. Now Rupert Murdoch is trying to enter the education tech business with a tablet of his own.
One might, for instance, consider replacing the iPad with a little device called a Raspberry Pi. About the size of a credit card, it’s a fully featured computer, though a keyboard and screen need to be plugged in separately. It comes as a single circuit board with no casing, which reflects its philosophy; the basic parts of the machine are plain for a student to see — the video card, the CPU, the power system, the USB ports. The nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation sells it for as little as $25, compared with $299 to $929 for an iPad. One Laptop per Child (OLPC), another nonprofit project, produces low-cost laptops and tablets with education in mind.
Software can be even cheaper. The Raspberry Pi and OLPC run on Linux, a free, open-source operating system, which is constantly being improved and expanded by thousands of programmers around the world. An enormous variety of free, community-developed programs, including fully featured office suites, graphics tools and games — as well as popular commercial programs such as Skype and Dropbox — can be installed on the device. Apple and Microsoft often tell us that open-source software is unreliable and unfriendly to use, but that hasn’t stopped Linux from being the basis of Android phones, many everyday appliances and most of the Internet. The computer I used to write this article runs Linux.
Now, the newbie does not need to create a shopping list with thousands of entries. Many of the Debian packages are libraries shared by multiple applications so start with the major applications the newbie needs: a web browser or two, an office suite or two, some graphics applications for producing drawings or editing images, some multimedia software, various utilities like file-manager, search engine (yes you can have powerful tools on your desktop), database, etc. Make a short list of a few dozen or less packages that give the newbie what he/she wants. Then consider the desktop itself. The newbie can have none at all (strange but true), simple iconified desktops, brave new world shortcut-driven searchable-everything desktops and even some combinations like several different desktops running in virtual machines… Here the possibilities are numerous but there should be some combination that suites the user. If the user like most runs a few applications routinely and has a small total number of applications ever used, a rather finite desktop like XFCE should work. It’s a lot like XP with a task bar (or not), actual menus and such. If the user is some kind of genius with a huge number of applications, too many to hide behind icons, a search-engine base might be the way to go. You just start typing the name/description of an application and you find it just like URI’s autocompletion in your browser. Then choose KDE or GNOME.
The open source Docker container virtualization project got started in March of 2013 and has since grown to become one of the most talked about virtualization technologies in the industry.
Docker was started by Solomon Hykes, while Hykes was running a PaaS company known at the time as dotCloud. The dotCloud business has since been sold and Hykes is the CTO of Docker, Inc. which is the lead commercial sponsor behind Docker.
In some cases with open source software, there is a push from the broader community for a vendor neutral foundation to help run the project. That's not likely to be the case for Docker.
The new mayor of Munich is a self-proclaimed Microsoft fan and he wants to waste all the money that was invested in moving away from Microsoft’s vendor lock and incompatible technologies. His deputy is also a Microsoft fans so it’s not surprising that the new office of the mayor wants to bring back Microsoft technologies.
But that will be a very dangerous move for Munich.
Josef Schmid, teh deputy, points out two issues with LiMux – one is incompatibility with Microsoft technologies and other was increased support calls.
Incompatibility with Microsoft products is a huge problem and it’s a problem for everyone who is using Microsoft technologies. Linux or Open Source are not the cause of the problem as Schmid says, they are victims.
Then what is the cause?
In a recent interview one of the directors of The Document Foundation disclosed how Microsoft users various tricks to break compatibility and that leads to people like Schmid to blame open source technologies without fully understanding where the problem lies.
Microsoft is copying competitor’s models so vigorously that they should move their head quarters to China. After pushing ‘cheap’ (in terms of price and performance) Netbooks to combat Chromebooks, Microsoft is now about to flood the market with ‘cheap’ Windows tablets.
Toshiba is going to be the first company to launch cheap 7-inch Windows tablet. The tablet will be launched at IFA tradeshow in Berlin.
Avoiding lock-in when building open ICT systems: How to make better use of standards in public procurement?Submitted by Roy Schestowitz on Friday 5th of September 2014 08:54:58 AM Filed under
Professor Björn Lundell from University of Skövde - Sweden, has been researching the Open Standards phenomenon -particularly in public procurement-, for a number of years. He is one of the few academics in Europe that have tackled the analysis of benefits of using standards in public procurement of ICT.
Since its release, Pushbullet has quickly become a favorite amongst many Android users. This free application lets you "push" any link or image to your mobile phone right from your desktop or browser. This means that you don't have to get up and type in a link that you see on your desktop on to your smartphone.
However, besides pushing links, Pushbullet can be used to do a lot more. The following article helps you get more out of the service.
This message is not intended to sell you anything but more to be an "exclamation mark" in the strategy decisions being made in the consumer's IT environment. By Russell Gill, general manager at Linux Warehouse.
If you speak to IT professionals, Gartner etc, the majority agree that open source products are playing a larger part in the consumer's IT environment. But here's the conundrum: it's more profitable for the average reseller out there to sell the proprietary product than to have their customers subscribe to enterprise open source software. Coupled with this, the resellers have to ensure that their staff are up to date with ever-changing trends and that they are able to support the IT environment.
LLVM 3.5 is now available for fans just not looking for a more liberally licensed compiler but for those dependent upon AMD's GPU LLVM compiler back-end and the other innovative use-cases provided by the LLVM stack.
While no official announcement has yet to hit the mailing lists, LLVM 3.5 and its sub-projects doing 3.5 releases are now available via the download page. LLVM 3.5 brings many new features ranging from better support of new C++ standards to improved back-end compiler targets. Benchmarks on conventional x86_64 Linux targets have shown LLVM/Clang 3.5 performing well but the in-development GCC 5.0 still performing better.
There are so many Linux distributions to choose from. Depending on your perspective, this can be a good or bad thing. You see, for many, using Linux is about choice -- you get to choose the distro, packages and environment. There is truth to this; however, many others, including myself, often wonder if the community's efforts are too fragmented. In other words, when talent is spread thin, progress may be slowed.
One distro which should not be discussed in this debate is Gentoo; it has been around for 12 years and is not some recently launched project. Hell, Google chose this distro as the base for Chrome OS, so it must be good; seriously, the search-giant's operating system is pretty darn stable. Gentoo Linux has reached version 20140826 and it looks like a winner.
French oil firm Total has revealed that its supercomputer is now running on a Linux Enterprise Server operating system.
The oil giant chose the Linux Enterprise Server - provided by software company SUSE - as it was the best value for money, according to the Total's high power computer (HPC) engineer, Diego Klahr.
The IT deployment comes as Total looks to bolster its oil production process. In 2013, with oil and gas reserves diminishing, the Exploration and Production (Total E&P) department needed to improve how it located new oil and gas reserves.
According to the Mozilla Developer Network, Firefox OS is an open source mobile operating system based on Linux, open web standards and Mozilla’s Gecko technology.
But there’s more to it that that: Firefox OS is about reinventing what mobile platforms can be, about pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the Web on mobile and about enabling entirely new segments of users to come online with their smartphone at various levels of participation, from users to developers.
Mozilla's Benjamin Kerensa
Benjamin Kerensa, Mozilla’s Early Feedback Community Release Manager.
Earlier this week, I took some time to talk with Benjamin Kerensa, the Early Feedback Community Release Manager for Mozilla, to discuss Firefox OS and the community around it.
My overall conclusion with Netrunner Rolling is that there is no better Arch platformed Linux distro with KDE as the default environment out there. It just works. It gets out of the way and it gives the end user a clean, crisp and efficient desktop right out of the gate. You don’t have to know binary to get it installed, updated, and running. You don’t have to sacrifice a goat to Cthulhu (I’ve heard that comes later?) to have a pleasing KDE experience for your desktop. I keep saying this, but it just works.
I found it really odd that I hadn’t heard very much about Netrunner in the past but I readily admit that I hadn’t kept up with KDE based distributions in the past few years due to my fascination with Openbox. Netrunner has won me over though…I will definitely be paying attention to this fine distribution in the future as it has taken its place as the top KDE distribution I’ve ever tried. I hope you’ll give it a try in the future (if you haven’t already) and kudos the developers and community of Netrunner.
Today, Motorola announced its second-generation Moto X, the successor to the company’s rebooted flagship smartphone that was unveiled just over a year ago. Yes, the phone will simply be called Moto X again — not X+1, as some rumors had suggested — and it’ll be available for the same $499 unlocked as the original when it launches later in September (that's for 16GB; the 32GB version runs at a $50 premium). AT&T, among others, will be offering it starting at $99 on contract.