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Reviews

Winds – RSS and Podcast software created using React / Redux / Node

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Software
Reviews

Winds is billed as a beautiful, modern, open-source RSS Reader and Podcast app. It’s certainly garnishing attention among open source enthusiasts. It’s picked up over 5,000 stars on GitHub, so I’ve been putting this JavaScript software through its paces.

Winds is cross-platform software. There are desktop apps available for Linux, macOS and Windows. There’s also a web version. The software is released under an open source license (BSD-3-Clause). It’s developed by GetStream.io (Stream), a Venture Capital backed company based in the US and the Netherlands.

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Also: Alacritty – A Fastest Terminal Emulator for Linux

A Second Preview to the Next elementary OS 5.0 (July 2018)

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Reviews

Here's a second short preview (after the March 2018 one) to the next 5.0 version of elementary OS from the development release. We're getting closer to final now as the Beta 1 has been released and the Beta 2 has been started but it's still not recommended to install or use the Betas. This means do not upgrade to Beta 1 or Beta 2 yet, nor install the Beta, but wait until the final version officially released. To sum it up, in 5.0, the user interface is getting more cool with tons of improvement; and the AppCenter is really amazing with payment system for both developers who deserve funds and users who want to contribute. I also mention how active the development progress is below and how we can help. This preview is very brief and cannot represent the final as the final could have more and more amazing additions. Anyway, wait for the final and enjoy reading!

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Lubuntu 18.04 Review: Stable and Dependable As Always

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Ubuntu

I stated earlier that 18.04 looks pretty much the same compared to when I first installed it. This is not a bad thing. Lubuntu is not designed to be flashy or to have the latest cutting-edge features. It is designed to use few resources and run well on a wide variety of computers. It does that very well. You could set anyone who ever used Windows in front of a Lubuntu box and they would be good to go. I would certainly recommend it for beginners and older computers

One thing that was confusing when I was researching this article was the existence of more than one site for Lubuntu. When I searched for Lubuntu, one of the first search result entries was for lubuntu.net. I thought it was the project’s official website. Then, I was surfing through Lubuntu’s Wikipedia entry. It listed lubuntu.me as the official site. Both look very official. It’s only after you dig that you discover that lubuntu.net was created by “Free and Open Source contributors from Asia, Linux Fans and the Lubuntu Meilix community”. It’s essentially a fan site. They had better let people know that they are not the official site before they get in trouble with someone.

Have you ever used Lubuntu? What is your favorite Ubuntu flavor? Please let us know in the comments below.

If you found this article interesting, please take a minute to share it on social media.

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Lubuntu 18.04 Review: Stable and Dependable As Always

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Ubuntu’s lightweight edition Lubuntu 18.04 still revives older computers through LXDE but it has different plans for future. Read the Lubuntu 18.04 review to find out more about it.
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Clear Linux Makes a Strong Case for Your Next Cloud Platform

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There are so many Linux distributions available, some of which are all-purpose and some that have a more singular focus. Truth be told, you can take most general distributions and turn them into purpose-driven platforms. But, when it comes to things like cloud and IoT, most prefer distributions built with that specific use in mind. That’s where the likes of Clear Linux comes in. This particular flavor of Linux was designed for the cloud, and it lets you install either an incredibly bare OS or one with exactly what you need to start developing for cloud and/or IoT.

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Trisquel 8.0 LTS Review: Successful Freedom of 2018

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Trisquel 8.0 is a success in reaching freedom goal (meaning: no proprietary at all) for overall computer users, especially desktop. It is a 100% free distro which is complete, user friendly, and instant. Compared to regular distros, it's at least equally low in requirements but high in usability; compared to common free distros, it's active (not dormant) and long-standing (since 2007). This operating system can be used by general computer users, produced in mass computers (i.e. sold in a PC/laptop), and especially software freedom people. This year, 2018, anybody wants the true free distro would be happy with Trisquel.

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A look at Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie

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Reviews
Ubuntu

I like this. I like this a lot. It’s exactly what I’d been hoping it would be, after the previous failures at a happy Budgie desktop. I haven’t used it for long enough to get as deep into messing with it as I probably will in the future, so maybe I’ll find issues at that time; but Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie is seeming to be a quite solid, attractive, and easy to use system for people who want even more eyecandy, or are sick of the usual environments.

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Ribbons and Tabs Give OnlyOffice Suite a Fresh Look

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Ascensio System SIA recently released its free office suite upgrade -- OnlyOffice Desktop Editors -- with a ribbon and tab interface plus numerous updated features. The refresh makes version 5.1 a potential alternative to Web versions of the Microsoft Office suite and Google Docs for Linux users.

The three-module set of OnlyOffice Desktop Editors has an impressive collection of tools geared toward individual consumers and small offices. It provides many of the conveniences available when using MS Word or Google G-Suite apps.

However, the real workplace benefits of collaborating on files through cloud storage come at an add-on cost once the free-trial period ends. Still, the core functionality -- word processor, spreadsheet and slide presentations -- remains free and installs locally as standalone apps in Linux distributions that use .DEB, .RPM and Snap software packages.

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Linux Mint 19 Tara - Tara Cognita

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If one judges Linux Mint 19 Tara on its own, it's a pretty decent release. But one must also gaze wider, and cast their eyes on Mints That Came Before, and realize that the status quo is actually a regression. It's not enough to keep the same errors or be consistent in comparison to the sea of mediocre releases out there. Errors that might have been acceptable in 2008 are not acceptable in 2018. Normalizing toward the lowest common denominator is sad. And this is exactly what's been happening across the distroscape, and Mint has also fallen victim to this disease. The 'all-you-need-to-do' disease.

So yes, in many aspects, Tara works better than the competition. But the competition is awful. Network, font and codec problems, to name a few of the big issues. Unnecessary, pointless. Even more so because we didn't have them in the past. These are regressions. Horrible, life- and will-sapping regressions.

While your mind processes that, let's recap what we saw. In overall terms, Mint 19 is a good choice for people looking for a stable everyday distro. Mostly covers most of the basics, and can be tamed without too much fuss. The package manager is really good, performance and stability are decent. If only I had no memory. But I do, and so Tara warrants only about 7/10 by default, about 8.5 after all my post-pimping. Sylvia is a better overall choice sans any user changes, and there are some other distros with a higher overall grade, ergo friendlier defaults and functionality for the ordinary user. In this regard, Tara is consistent with the 18.X family, which started low and improved. Perhaps 19.1 will be a blast. Take care.

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Review: Linux Mint 19 "Tara" MATE + Xfce + Cinnamon

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Linux
Reviews

It has been some time since I last reviewed a Linux distribution. That is in large part because I've found that the Linux distribution landscape is not as dynamic as it once was, with fewer new distributions vying for market share, while older established distributions have simply continued to exist and develop. As a result, unless you readers have particular suggestions for distributions that I should review (as long as it can be done via a live USB) or a distribution particularly catches my eye, I will likely be sticking to reviewing Linux Mint each time a new release comes out, until and unless Linux Mint declines in quality so much that I need to start looking for new distributions.

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Ubuntu MATE - Pimp your desktop to perfection

Ubuntu MATE has made a quantum leap of innovation in the past several months, offering a wealth of visual and functional changes and a mindblowing level of flexibility when it comes to customization. You really have the ability to implement anything and everything, and all of it natively, from within the system's interface. The list of options is so long that it can be overwhelming. Hopefully, this little pimping guide puts some order into this fine and rich chaos. Ubuntu Bionic isn't the most refined distro, but it sure has the almost infinite possibilities to make it appear and behave how you want it. You can have a classic desktop one day and then a MAC-like thing the next and then Ubuntu Unity the day after that. It's all there, very slick, very elegant. Well, it's time for you to do some exploring. See you. Read more

Games: Atari VCS, NEC, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Beast of Winter, State of Mind

  • Atari VCS RAM upgraded to 8GB and Atari confirm you can put a normal Linux distribution on it
    While I remain quite sceptical of the Atari VCS, I'm still pretty interested in it as a Linux gaming device. Atari recently did a Q&A blog post detailing some interesting information about it. The post is written by Rob Wyatt, the System Architect for the Atari VCS device. If the name Rob Wyatt doesn't ring a bell—they were the original Xbox system architect.
  • Atari VCS Product Q&A #1
    At this time the developer program is not open yet and it will come online in the coming months. If you have an application in mind you can start today, make sure it runs on Linux at HD resolution using standard runtime libraries, the changes from this to the AtariOS will be minimal and mostly related to application startup and application packaging. In the very near future we will release documentation on the AtariOS which will detail all the runtime components we support as well as libraries for Linux that mimic the AtariOS.
  • Is it worth $129 to relive your NES Duck Hunt glory days?

    But the folks behind the Modern Mallard Kickstarter campaign figured out a way to overcome this problem -- by using a speedy processor to rewrite the game's code in real time, counteracting the lag. The project includes a hardware mod for both the original Duck Hunt game cartridge and Zapper that makes it compatible with LCD, LED and OLED TVs. Note that the campaign doesn't include the game cartridge or Zapper, so you'll have to use your own.

    You can read more about how the mods work at the bottom of the Kickstarter page.

  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Beast of Winter due out early next month
    The first piece of expansion content will be released 2 August. Expect to get caught up in a different realm, the Beyond, and face new enemies and puzzles.
  • Futuristic thriller 'State of Mind' has a new story trailer and releasing a day earlier than expected
    Daedalic Entertainment's futuristic thriller 'State of Mind' has a new story trailer out and a new release date. When we mentioned it last month, they gave us a release date of August 16th. However, they seem to have moved it forward as it's now going to release on August 15th. This will come with same-day Linux support!

Security Leftovers

  • Data breaches show we’re only three clicks away from anarchy
    An IT glitch afflicting BP petrol stations for three hours last Sunday evening might not sound like headline news. A ten-hour meltdown of Visa card payment systems in June was a bigger story — as was the notorious TSB computer upgrade cock-up that started on 20 April, which was still afflicting customers a month later and was reported this week to be causing ruptures between TSB and its Spanish parent Sabadell. Meanwhile, what do Fortnum & Mason, Dixons Carphone, Costa Coffee and its sister company Premier Inn have in common with various parts of the NHS? The answer is that they have all suffered recent large-scale ‘data breaches’ that may have put private individuals’ information at risk. IT Governance, a blog that monitors international news stories in this sphere, came up with a global figure of 145 million ‘records leaked’ last month alone. Such leaks are daily events everywhere — and a lesson of the TSB story was that cyber fraudsters are waiting to attack wherever private data becomes accessible, whether because of computer breakdown or lax data protection.
  • UK security researcher Hutchins makes renewed bid for freedom

    British security researcher Marcus Hutchins, who was arrested by the FBI last August over alleged charges of creating and distributing a banking trojan, has made a fresh bid to go free, claiming that the US has no territorial jurisdiction to file charges against him for alleged crimes committed elsewhere.

  • Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security

    An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others.

Containers or virtual machines: ​Which is more secure? The answer will surprise you

Are virtual machines (VM) more secure than containers? You may think you know the answer, but IBM Research has found containers can be as secure, or more secure, than VMs. James Bottomley, an IBM Research Distinguished Engineer and top Linux kernel developer, writes: "One of the biggest problems with the current debate about Container vs Hypervisor security is that no-one has actually developed a way of measuring security, so the debate is all in qualitative terms (hypervisors 'feel' more secure than containers because of the interface breadth) but no-one actually has done a quantitative comparison." To meet this need, Bottomley created Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP), designed to describe system security in a way that it can be objectively measured. Bottomley has discovered that "a Docker container with a well crafted seccomp profile (which blocks unexpected system calls) provides roughly equivalent security to a hypervisor." Read more