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Reviews

Nokia 3 review: Nokia plus Android is a winning combination

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Android
Reviews

Comebacks are a very hard nut to crack. Expectations run high -- fans and loyalists who have waited years for their beloved brand or team or product to come back are mostly met with disappointment when the second coming cannot match up to past success. That is always the risk for the brand Nokia, which is making a comeback in the phone market using Android via the Finnish company HMD Global. The first Nokia smartphone that HMD Global has launched in India is Nokia 3. And expectations from it are running very high.

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Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook review: Tough, durable and inexpensive

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Android
Reviews

The Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is a consumer version of Lenovo's very solid Chromebooks For Education products. It's built tough — rated to take a 2.4-foot drop and has a water resistant keyboard tray to keep spills out, but still comes in at a very reasonable $279.99. Finding a "rugged" Chromebook that's not EDU branded and uber-expensive isn't a common thing, so we were instantly interested.

After a bit of time with it, the strengths outweigh the drawbacks and we like the Flex 11. It's not the most powerful Chromebook we've tried but it wasn't made to be. It's a decent, solid performer designed to take more abuse than most other products in its class.

We think the durability factor and low price make the Flex 11 a great Chromebook for kids or someone who tends not to treat his or her stuff all that respectfully. And while the body is pretty darn durable, the keyboard leaves a lot to be desired. Read on for our full take.

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Moto C Plus review: Buy it only for Stock Android

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Android
Reviews

What is the Moto C Plus? Who is it aimed at? Lenovo claims that the C Plus is aimed at the youth who want an affordable smartphone with excellent battery life, the latest software, expandable storage and a premium design. So basically, the whole package. That is a pretty high standard to set.

So does the Moto C Plus succeed on these counts? It does achieve some of the goals Lenovo set out to achieve with it, but also stumbles quite a bit on others. The other challenge that the phone faces is the strong competition in this segment. There are phones like the Xiaomi Redmi 4, which seem to make all the right compromises in order to achieve their low price tag. So how does Motorola competes in the segment? The company is banking on the combination of stock Android and great battery life to help it fight. Does it succeed? Let's find out.

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Debian 9 Review: Stable Like Ever, Better Than Most

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Reviews
Debian

Debian is one of the oldest and most famous Linux distributions of all time. Its development started back in 1993 by its founder Ian Murdock who passed away in 2015. It’s also known to be the mother-distribution of tens of other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu.

Debian has a strict policy on software packages. It only ships free software by default. It doesn’t even ship non-free firmware and drivers. If you want, you can enable the non-free package repository later to install those packages. But you won’t find it there by default.

Debian is well-known for its stability. They don’t ship new updates to users unless it was tested. Which is why you may notice some very old package versions when using Debian. It’s correct that they are old, but they are also tested and secure. Most discovered vulnerabilities get patched in Debian in a matter of hours or few days.

Those users who would like to get latest and most updated software could switch to using the testing or unstable branch. Both contain more modern software according to a different policy.

The effort which is being done by the Debian project for each release is huge. Currently, they offer 25000 source packages and 51000 binary packages. Getting all of those software from upstream projects, packaging them, testing them, debugging issues and fixing them is definitely not something you hear about everyday.

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Also: Upgrade to Debian Stretch - GlusterFS fails to mount

New: VOYAGER 9 Debian Stretch

Liri – Loves me, loves me not … at all

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Reviews

What does the world of Linux need more? Desktop environments? Nope. Ah, well, you’d be surprised, because a fresh new challenger appears! Its name is Liri, and it is the presentation layer for the namesake operating system being baked in the forges of community creativity as we speak. Sounds potentially interesting, but then we must be wary.

I’ve trawled through the obscure, uncharted waters of Budgie, Razor-Qt and more recently, and with much greater attention to detail, LXQt, and in all of these cases, I was left rather dissatisfied with the end product. Not enough cohesion, quality, future roadmap, and most importantly, the finesse that you expect from polished, professional products. Then again, building a desktop environment is a huge undertaking, probably even more complex than spinning a new distro, and so, it’s not a coincidence that there are few serious contenders in this space. But Liri comes with enticing artwork, a promise of Material Design for the desktop, and so here we are, trying to get the first feel of what it does.

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Rockstor: A Solid Cloud Storage Solution for Small or Home Office

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Reviews

The Linux platform can do quite a lot of things; it can be just about anything need it to be and function in nearly any form. One of the many areas in which Linux excels is that of storage. With the help of a few constituent pieces, you can have a powerful NAS or cloud storage solution up and running.

But, what if you don’t want to take the time to piece these together for yourself? Or, what if you’d rather have a user-friendly, web-based GUI to make this process a bit easier. For that, there are a few distributions available to meet your needs. Once such platform is Rockstor. Rockstor is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) and cloud solution that can serve either your personal or small business needs with ease.

Rockstor got its start in 2014 and has quickly become a solid tool in the storage space. I was able to quickly get Rockstor up and running (after overcoming only one minor hurdle) and had SMB shares and users/groups created with just a few quick clicks. And, with the inclusion of add-ons (called Rockons), you can extend the feature set of your Rockstor to include new apps, servers, and services.

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Manjaro 17.0.1 Gellivara (Che Guevara) - Pretty decent

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Linux
Reviews

It is time to arch our backs and explore the distroverse some more. That's a horrible pun, I admit, so I'll chase to the cut. Manjaro. It's a nerdy operating system, powered by sacrificial goats, curdled blood, enthusiasm, and heaploads of nerdiness. But then, over the years, it has slowly grown on me, becoming almost usable on a daily basis.

A new version is out, carrying the numerical identifier 17.0.1, and there are several desktop flavors available. In order to test the progress and change in Manjaro, I decided to continue with the Xfce version, and so we can compare to previous editions. Now, the system has a rolling update nature, so I could have just upgraded the installed instance on my Lenovo G50 box, but I decided to go for a full, fresh experience. We commence.

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Moto E4 review: Keeping it simple

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Android
Reviews

The Moto E4 is fine. It's not particularly good looking or powerful, nor is it filled with features. When you think a generic smartphone, this is kind of what you think of.

And yet, for $129, I would probably recommend it, warts and all, over any other phone. At $70 on Verizon's prepaid service, it's an absolute steal. Here's why.

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Moto E4 Android smartphone review

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Android
Reviews

Motorola’s G series has been the benchmark for exceptional budget smartphones, and the lesser-known Moto E series strives to do the same to do the same at an even lower cost. With the latest entry — the Moto E4 — Motorola hits the ball out of the park with an impressive phone that offers plenty of value for $130. There will always be some compromises on budget devices, and the Moto E4 is no different. But price is very much the spotlight of this phone, and it’s quite competitive given the solid features you get. In our Moto E4 review, we’ll take a deeper look at what Motorola cut, what it kept, and how it all works in the end.

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You need to check out the new OnePlus 5 before buying any other Android smartphone

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Android
Reviews

I would strongly consider the OnePlus 5 if I were in the market for an Android phone, but it's not an outright, clear-cut decision. That's because I prefer phones that get timely updates directly from Google, and only the Google Pixel fits that bill.

However, if you don't mind getting Android updates a little later, the OnePlus 5 is a clear winner for its price tag. Sure, you wouldn't get as many features as you would with the Galaxy S8, but most of those features seem expendable after using the OnePlus 5.

The OnePlus 5 has the features and performance that make a smartphone great, and I'd strongly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

You can preorder the OnePlus 5 now from OnePlus' website or buy it when it goes on sale on June 27.

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More in Tux Machines

XFree KWin, Plasma, KDE, and Qt/GTK

  • Announcing the XFree KWin project
    Over the last weeks I concentrated my work on KWin on what I call the XFree KWin project. The idea is to be able to start KWin/Wayland without XWayland support. While most of the changes required for it are already in Plasma 5.11, not everything got ready in time, but now everything is under review on phabricator, so it’s a good point in time to talk about this project.
  • Adapta Theme is Now Available for the #KDE Plasma Desktop
    A new port brings the Adapta GTK theme to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop for the first time, news that will please fans of its famous flat stylings.
  • A New Project To Let You Run Qt Apps With GTK+ Windowing System Integration
    A Norwegian developer has developed a new Qt platform abstraction plug-in to let Qt applications make use of GTK+ for windowing system integration. The Qt apps rely upon GTK+ as a host toolkit to provide GTK menus, GTK for input, and other integration bits.
  • Ant is a Flat GTK Theme with a Bloody Bite
    Between Arc, Adapta and Numix it kind of feels like Linux has the whole flat GTK theme thing covered. But proving their’s always room for one more is Ant.

Android Leftovers

Development: Blockchain for Good Hackathon, ASUS Tinker Board, React License, JavaScript, Pascal, Python

  • Blockchain for Good Hackathon, Saturday, 30 September and Sunday, 1 October
    The Blockchain for Good Hackathon takes place Saturday, 30 September and Sunday, 1 October. Full agenda can be found here.
  • ASUS Tinker Board Is An Interesting ARM SBC For About $60 USD
    Earlier this year ASUS announced the Tinker Board as their first step into the ARM single board computer world. Earlier this month I finally received a Tinker Board for testing and it has been quite interesting to say the least. The Tinker Board with its Rockchip SoC has been among the most competitive ARM SBCs we have tested to date in its price range and the form factor is compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
  • Configure Thunderbird to send patch friendly
  • Facebook to Relicense React Under MIT [Ed: as we hoped [1, 2]]
    Facebook has decided to change the React license from BSD+Patents to MIT to make it possible for companies to include React in Apache projects, and to avoid uncertain relationship with the open source community. Adam Wolff, an Engineering Director at Facebook, has announced that a number of projects - React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js – will soon start using the more standard MIT License instead of BSD+Patents. The reason provided is "because React is the foundation of a broad ecosystem of open source software for the web, and we don't want to hold back forward progress for nontechnical reasons." While aware that the React’s BSD+Patents license has created "uncertainty" among users of the library, prompting some to select an alternative solution, Facebook does not "expect to win these teams back" but they still hope some will reconsider the issue. The change in license will become effective when React 16 will be released next week. Regarding other projects, Wolff said that "many of our popular projects will keep the BSD + Patents license for now", while they are "evaluating those projects' licenses too, but each project is different and alternative licensing options will depend on a variety of factors." It seems from this clause that Facebook plans to get rid of the BSD+Patents license entirely, but they need to figure out the best option for each project. [...] Facebook’s plan to switch to a standard license MIT, supported by Apache, completely solves this problem with React and several other projects. It remains to see what happens with the license of other Facebook projects, and how much this license issue has affected how React is perceived by the community.
  • To type or not to type: quantifying detectable bugs in JavaScript
  • Plug For PASCAL
  • V. Anton Spraul's Think Like a Programmer, Python Edition

New Manjaro Release

What a week we had. With this update we have removed most of our EOL tagged kernels. Please adopt to newer series of each, when still be used. PulseAudio and Gstreamer got renewed. Also most of our kernels got newer point-releases. Series v4.12 is now marked as EOL. Guillaume worked on Pamac to solve reported issues within our v6 series. The user experience should be much better now. Latest NetworkManager, Python and Haskell updates complete this update-pack. Please report back and give us feedback for given changes made to our repositories. Read more