Various reports have claimed that Samsung is designing its next-gen top Android handset from scratch in an attempt to reinvent its flagship smartphone, as the previous Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 failed to really impress buyers. A new report from Chinese publication cnmo.com suggests that the Galaxy S6 might have already been spotted in AnTuTu, with the benchmark app having possibly revealed the phone’s specs in the process.
In October, it was discovered that Adobe had removed the link to download Adobe Reader, its proprietary PDF file viewer, for use with a GNU/Linux operating system.
While it is still possible to install Adobe Reader on GNU/Linux, Adobe's attempts to hide access to the product for certain users is only one example of its systematic neglect of its GNU/Linux user base, and falls in line with many others as a demonstration of the importance of free software--software that no company or developer can neglect or hide. As the Windows and OSX versions of the software were developed through version 11, the GNU/Linux version was long stuck at version nine. For several years the software has lacked important features, security improvements, and support against malware attacks and other intrusions. Yet, by "locking in" Adobe Reader users and making it difficult for them to migrate to a free software PDF viewer, Adobe has, in effect, degraded the power of the PDF as a free document format, a standard the purpose of which is to be implemented by any potential piece of software and to be compatible with all. The company has abandoned the principle of program-agnostic documents, bringing about a lose-lose situation for all.
By being led to rely on the proprietary software for tasks like sharing documents and filling out forms without the option to use a free software reader in its place, entreprises, the public sector, and institutions of higher learning have also fallen victim to this neglect, all as Adobe insidiously seeks to maintain a hold on its market share. Within institutions such as government--institutions that ought not to rely on any proprietary software, to begin with--it is concerning that Adobe Reader has often been taken to be the only option for interacting with PDF files and for communicating with the electorate.
‘Linux Lite’ is a GNU/Linux distribution based on the Ubuntu’s Long Term Support releases. It includes the lightweight & fully functional XFCE desktop environment, comes with full support for proprietor multimedia playback & a few applications of its own (software updater, additional app installer, a ‘cleaner’…) that should assist a novice user for easily managing the installed operating system.
Karanbir Singh today announced the inaugural release of CentOS rolling builds. CentOS will be releasing monthly respins of CentOS to include "all security, bugfix, enhancement and general updates." In other news, openSUSE 12.3 nears the end of its support and hit game BioShock Infinite looks to be heading to a Linux machine near you.
November sure was a busy month for new apps and notable updates; from photo recognition, to launchers, to Biz Stone’s new app for sharing random thoughts.
As a result, analysts and reporters are constantly asking me what I think regarding their chance of success. Companies are also often asking me my thoughts on whether they should open-source a technology and whether to do it as a separate project or within the sphere of an existing open-source project. Overall, this trend toward open source is very encouraging. Unlike closed-source/proprietary code, open-source licenses allow one to look at the code – to understand the inner workings and spot problems but also to be inspired. The real power of open source is the ability for people to build on top of the original source code.
Due out next week is a very significant update to AMD's Catalyst Linux graphics driver as they continue to work towards the unified AMD Linux driver strategy.
There hasn't been an AMD Catalyst Linux update in more than two months but it looks like the update due out next week will be worth the wait. This next AMD Catalyst Linux update due out on Tuesday, 9 December, will bring VA-API video decoding support (finally an alternative to using the ill-adopted, AMD-specific XvBA API), OpenGL ES 3.0 support, OpenCL 2.0, AMD FreeSync support on Linux, OpenMP 3.1 over HSA, and Linux packaging improvements. There's also 5K x 3K display support, frame pacing for Dual Graphics, and other enhancements for both the Windows and Linux graphics drivers. At least under Windows, there's very significant performance optimizations due out too.
Last month I wrote about an important development for companies outside the world of computing: collaborating on non-competitive code specific to their sector. That change in business practices is still in the early stages, and will probably take some years to move into the mainstream. Far further along is the transformation of many manufacturing companies into ones where open source plays a central role, not just in their IT infrastructure, but in their product line too. That's simply a consequence of the fact that more and more products are adding digital elements, and that the cheapest and best way to do that is to use open source.
In the beginning, software was free, something you needed to make the hardware run. Then Microsoft (MSFT) and others demonstrated that people would pay for proprietary code, and for a long while software wasn’t free. But proprietary code was often clunky, and what worked on one kind of computer had to be re-created on others. Soon people realized there was a better way, and software became free again, sort of. Open-source software is essentially software that’s open to the public for tinkering, and over time that tinkering makes the code stronger. Linux, the classic example, is an operating system that’s been so extensively customized and built upon, versions of it now run everything from data centers, PCs, TVs, and cars to your Android smartphone. Companies still charge for apps and services, but much of the technology we use today is based on building blocks that are free and open to the imagination.
Another Makulu Linux distribution was released today, and that's always good news! This time it is the KDE desktop for the Makulu 6.x series. The Xfce version of this was just released a couple of weeks ago, so I don't expect for there to be any major surprises: I hope that means this will not be a very lengthy post.
Just weeks after Northrop Grumman got approval to begin building a new breed of mobile radar systems for the Marine Corps, the Corps has asked the defense contractor in Linthicum to change the operating system.
The Department of Defense announced a $10.2 million contract modification Wednesday to change the operator command and control software on its G/ATOR radar system Microsoft Windows XP to a Defense Information Systems Agency compliant Linux OS.
Ingrid Vaughan, director of the program, said the change would mean greater compatability for laptop computers used to control the system in the future.
In a statement released Friday, she said Microsoft Windows XP is no longer supported by the software developer and the shift to a DOD approved Linux operating system will reduce both the complexity of the operating system and need for future updates.
The big news today is that a fifth release candidate for Fedora 21 was needed, but Fedora 21 was given a GO for the December 9 release. Fedora folks are also talking about a '"Tick-tock" release cadence' for future versions, which would alternate feature releases with "release engineering and QA process and tooling."