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Review: Motorola Moto X4 Sub Title: Moto Money

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Android
Reviews

The original Moto X should hold a special place in smartphone history. It wasn’t the most powerful device, and the camera struggled, but it was the first major phone with contextual awareness baked in, giving you a hands-free assistant with voice recognition. We all yell at Alexa from across the room these days, but in 2013 it was magic. Every Moto X was different, too. You could customize it however you liked—deck it out in bright neon colors, backed in football leather, or covered in bamboo—and Motorola would ship it to you from its assembly plant in Texas, not China.

Motorola has gone through a lot of changes since 2013, and is now owned by Lenovo, but DNA from that first Moto X shines through in the Moto X4. It’s still not all that powerful, but is comfortable to hold, now waterproof, and has a suite of useful features unique to Motorola’s handsets.

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Review: The best Linux distros for Docker and containers

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Linux
Reviews

Over the past six months I have reviewed five minimal Linux distributions that are optimized for running containers: Alpine Linux, CoreOS Container Linux, RancherOS, Red Hat Atomic Host, and VMware Photon OS. Generically known as “container operating systems,” these stripped down, purpose built Linux distributions are not the only way to run containers in production, but they provide a base that does not waste resources on anything besides container support.

The state of the industry with container deployment systems is very much like the early days of Linux distributions. You have one key element, in this case the Docker container, that is surrounded by a number of competing ecosystem components. Just as the traditional Linux distros bundled different package managers, desktop environments, system utilities, services, and apps, most container distributions mix and match various components to create what they consider an optimum solution. Take for example distributed configuration and service discovery. There are several solutions for this such as Etcd, Consul, and ZooKeeper.

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Ubuntu 17.10 - on the GNOME again

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GNOME
Reviews

Ubuntu is one of the world's most popular Linux distributions. The distribution is available in several flavours, the two most widely recognized being the Desktop and Server editions. The release of Ubuntu 17.10 introduces a number of important changes, the most visible ones mostly affecting the Desktop edition which I will focus on in this review. As 17.10 is an interim release rather than a long term support release, it will received security updates for just nine months.

One technical change in version 17.10 is the phasing out of 32-bit builds of the Desktop edition, though the Server edition is still available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. Another significant change is the Ubuntu distribution has swapped out its in-house Unity desktop and replaced it with a customized version of the GNOME Shell desktop. Unity is still available in Ubuntu's software repositories if we wish to install it later.

I opted to download the Desktop edition of Ubuntu 17.10. The ISO for this edition is 1.4GB in size and booting from this media brings up a graphical window where we are asked if we would like to try Ubuntu's live desktop mode or launch the system installer. This screen also lets us select the system's language with the default being English.

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Linux Lite 3.6 Desktop Installation Guide with Screenshots

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Reviews

We’ve already reviewed the Linux Lite 3.6 distro some time back and even concluded that it is an excellent distro for any beginner to start with linux and then stay on forever. With a lot of wow factors in that distro, Linux Lite has come up with a more enhanced version in Linux Lite 3.6. And with the 3.6 release, Linux Lite has introduced some major changes since the release of 3.4. Let’s look at all the changes and also a step by step installation guide to install Linux Lite 3.6 in your system.

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Purism Librem 13 v2 privacy-focused Linux laptop -- great hardware, frustrating software [Review]

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

As a computer user in 2017, privacy is always on my mind -- as it should be. I suppose I have always cared about securing my information and data, but in recent years, we have learned so many troubling things about government hackers -- including the USA -- that it seems more important than ever. Patriot Edward Snowden really shone a light on the unfortunate state of privacy, or lack thereof, in modern days.

This is why I was very intrigued by the Purism line of laptops. These are computers that are designed with privacy in mind. The Librem 13 v2, which I have been testing, features two hardware kill-switches -- one will cut the webcam and microphone, while the other kills the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios. By cutting access on the hardware level, hackers cannot access these things when switched off. Instead of using a traditional bios system for booting, it even leverages Coreboot. It runs a Linux-based operating system called "Pure OS" which aims to be very secure and private. Unfortunately, the OS ends up being a little too secure, and the weak link of the overall package. But does that really matter?

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Reviews of Ubuntu MATE 17.10

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Reviews
Ubuntu
  • What’s New in Ubuntu MATE 17.10

    Ubuntu MATE 17.10 the official flavor of Ubuntu 17.10 with MATE desktop has been released and announced by the Ubuntu MATE Developer. This release ships with the latest MATE Desktop 1.18 as default desktop environment include the MATE apps 1.18 and powered the latest Linux kernel 4.13 series.

    The most important features that added in Ubuntu MATE 17.10, support for global menus and the Heads-Up Display (HUD) feature that was available in the mutiny, cupertino and Contemporary layouts user interface. The login screen has been changed to Slick Greeter, powered by LightDM, and you can now use the Super key to active menu launchers.

  • Ubuntu Mate 17.10 Review

    Looking for a Linux distribution that is both easy to use and extremely customizable? Look no further than Ubuntu Mate! Ubuntu Mate has proven to be a very popular distribution ever since its release. The latest release, 17.10, should prove just as popular, as there are a whole host of improvements.

Google Pixelbook review: Prepared today for the possible reality of tomorrow

Filed under
OS
Google
Reviews

Chromebooks may be most popular in the classroom, but Google wants to ride that train out of schools and into the next phase of students' lives. The Pixelbook is the manifestation of that idea, the piece of hardware that combines Google's revamped design aesthetic and Internet-based software with the needs and wants of a younger generation.

Google stopped selling the original Chromebook Pixel, but seemingly only because the company wants to shine the spotlight on its new Chrome OS laptop. No distractions, no other (potentially) cheaper options: if you're someone who grew up using Chrome OS in school, this $999 convertible is the one you should get if you want to continue using Chrome OS later in life.

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Rough Edges of the ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 LXQt

Filed under
MDV
Reviews

LXQt is a desktop environment that is under heavy development. Unfortunately, there are still some rough edges in it.

ROSA Desktop Fresh R9 is not the first distribution from that team to feature LXQt. But you still can feel these rough edges here and there.

It generally feels OK. The only major issue I can name is a problem with video playback on one of the tested sites. But there were many smaller issues. All-in-all, I would say that ROSA R9 LXQt is still a distribution for those who like to get their hands dirty, who like to help developers and who like some challenges. It is not a distribution for newbies, but a a good distribution for real Linux fans to have fun with.

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Teclast T10 Review: A 10-Inch Android Tablet For Under $250

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Android
Reviews

The Android software version here is 7.0, which is starting to be a bit dated. Given that Teclast is a Chinese OEM, I wouldn't expect quick updates to Oreo anytime soon. But at least the software here is mostly stock, with the exception of two bloatware Chinese apps that cannot be uninstalled.

Android as a software platform has matured a lot in recent years, so using it on what is essentially a blown-up mobile screen is no longer as awkward as a couple years ago. Sure, some apps like Instagram still look ridiculous running on a tablet screen -- not to mention Instagram Stories refuses to run on the T10 -- but other apps like Facebook, Gmail and YouTube have been optimized for larger displays and they look wonderful on the T10. In Gmail, for example, you get two separate columns for list of emails and email summary respectively.

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ArchLabs Linux Mínimo

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Reviews

ArchLabs is a great combination of lightweight and, thanks to its Arch base, constantly up-to-date software. While probably not for everyone, ArchLabs is a polished distribution that anyone looking for an Arch-based distribution that has a pre-configured desktop and software selection should check out. The only drawback is that, like many lightweight distributions, selecting applications based on what is deemed best for an individual task can result in an odd hodgepodge of applications that all behave differently. Of course, the choice of what to install is up to the user, so that might not be a problem for some, but having applications from Xfce, GNOME, KDE, etc., can lead to a jumbled user experience.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: Google, Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP), Quad9 and More

  • Google investigators find hackers swipe nearly 250,000 passwords a week
    Hackers are constantly trying to break into Google accounts, so Google researchers spent a year tracing how hackers steal passwords and expose them on the internet's black market. To gather hard evidence about the tools hackers use to swipe passwords, Google collaborated with University of California Berkeley cybersecurity experts to track activity on some of these markets. On Thursday, they published their results.
  • Time Will Tell if the New Vulnerabilities Equities Process Is a Step Forward for Transparency
    The White House has released a new and apparently improved Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP), showing signs that there will be more transparency into the government’s knowledge and use of zero day vulnerabilities. In recent years, the U.S. intelligence community has faced questions about whether it “stockpiles” vulnerabilities rather than disclosing them to affected companies or organizations, and this scrutiny has only ramped up after groups like the Shadow Brokers have leaked powerful government exploits. According to White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce, the form of yesterday’s release and the revised policy itself are intended to highlight the government’s commitment to transparency because it’s “the right thing to do.”
  • Security updates for Friday
  • Quad9 Secure DNS Service Embeds IBM Security Intelligence
  • New “Quad9” DNS service blocks malicious domains for everyone
    The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA)—an organization founded by law enforcement and research organizations to help reduce cyber-crime—has partnered with IBM and Packet Clearing House to launch a free public Domain Name Service system. That system is intended to block domains associated with botnets, phishing attacks, and other malicious Internet hosts—primarily targeted at organizations that don't run their own DNS blacklisting and whitelisting services. Called Quad9 (after the 9.9.9.9 Internet Protocol address the service has obtained), the service works like any other public DNS server (such as Google's), except that it won't return name resolutions for sites that are identified via threat feeds the service aggregates daily.
  • The Internet of Shit is so manifestly insecure that people are staying away from it in droves
  • Security updates for Thursday
  • [Ubuntu] Security Team Weekly Summary: November 16, 2017
  • Hacking Blockchain with Smart Contracts to Control a Botnet
    Blockchain has been hailed by some in the technology industry as a potential method to help improve cyber security. However, security researcher Majid Malaika warns that Blockchain can potentially be abused to enable a new form of botnet that would be very difficult to take down. Malaika detailed his Blockchain-powered botnet in a session at the SecTor security conference on Nov. 15. The overall attack method has been dubbed "Botract" by Malaika, as it abuses inherent functionality in the smart contracts that help to enable Blockchain.
  • What Can The Philosophy of Unix Teach Us About Security?

Graphics: AMD and NVIDIA

  • R600 Gallium3D Shader Image Support Lands, Other R600g Patches Pending
    As a follow-up to OpenGL 4.2 Support Could Soon Land For AMD Cayman GPUs On R600g, the patches have landed in Mesa 17.4-dev Git! Plus other R600g patches are on the mailing list for review. These shader image support patches for R600g expose OpenGL's ARB_shader_image_size and ARB_shader_image_load_store for Radeon HD 5000/6000 series. In the process, this ends up taking Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" GPUs to having OpenGL 4.2 compliance from 4.1 with the shader image support having been the last blocker. Other GPUs on R600g remain at OpenGL 3.3 due to lacking FP64 support, as outlined more extensively in that previous article.
  • GeForce GTX 900 Series Re-Clocking Patches Updated By Karol Herbst
    Frequent Nouveau open-source NVIDIA driver contributor Karol Herbst has posted his latest patch series in working towards GeForce GTX 900 "Maxwell 2" graphics processor re-clocking.
  • 25 More AMDGPU DC Patches, Mostly Focused On Raven DCN
    DCN in this context is for current the DCN 1.0 Raven Ridge family of display engines. The just-launched Vega+Zen APUs feature a new display engine and that's what this DCN code is for, which is also under a separate Kconfig tunable from the rest of AMDGPU DC.

Development of Linux 4.15

  • Broadcom Hurricane 2 & Allwinner R40 Supported By Linux 4.15
    More ARM platform upstreaming has taken place for the Linux 4.15 kernel development cycle among other ARM hardware improvements.
  • Intel Coffee Lake & Cannonlake Thermal Support In Linux 4.15
    While Intel Coffee Lake hardware is shipping already, a few bits of tardy kernel code for these "8th Gen Core" CPUs is only hitting the Linux 4.15 kernel. The Intel DRM driver is most notably enabling Coffee Lake graphics by default in 4.15, but there's also some thermal code now landing among other changes now happening. Zhang Rui sent in the thermal updates for Linux 4.15 on Thursday and they include late additions for Coffee Lake but at the same time the relevant additions for Cannonlake that will be shipping in 2018 as the next-gen Intel CPUs.
  • AMDGPU DC Pull Request Submitted For Linux 4.15 Kernel - 132,395 Lines Of Code
    One day after submitting the main DRM feature pull request for Linux 4.15, David Airlie of Red Hat has submitted the secondary pull request that would feature the long-awaited introduction of AMDGPU DC into the mainline kernel.

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