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Reviews

Fedora 21 review: Linux’s sprawliest distro finds a new focus

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Red Hat
Reviews

Like most Linux distros, Fedora is a massive, sprawling project. Frankly, it's sprawl-y to the point that it has felt unfocused and a bit lost at times. Just what is Fedora? The distro has served as a kind of showcase for GNOME 3 ever since GNOME 3 hit the beta stage. So Fedora in theory is meant to target everyday users, but at the same time the project pours tremendous energy into building developer tools like DevAssistant. Does that make Fedora a developer distro? A newbie-friendly GNOME showcase? A server distro? An obscure robotics distro?

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Review: Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Xfce

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Reviews

Recently, the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" was released. It and the MATE edition are notable in featuring...Compiz! This really caught my eye, so I wanted to review it. There are several other changes too, so I figured that it would be worthwhile to review the Xfce edition rather than the MATE edition, given that I already tried the MATE edition of Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" not too long ago. Note that Ubuntu-based Linux Mint is sticking only to LTS releases, so a major release will roughly coincide (lagging by a month or so) with the Ubuntu LTS release, and then decimal point releases will be put out every 6 months or so and be given a new code name while still sticking with the last LTS release as its base. As far as this review goes, I tried this as usual as a live USB system made with UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

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Satechi Smart TV Box review: Android-based set-top box does a lot, but doesn't make it easy

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Android
Reviews

Every streaming device, from your aging Blu-ray player to your Roku, has limitations. At some point, you’re going to want to stream a service that your device doesn’t support. When that happens, your only big-screen option is to plug a laptop, tablet, or smartphone into your HDTV. That way, you get a real operating system with complete flexibility.

But that’s a hassle. These devices aren’t designed to be controlled from across a room. And even when they have remote controls, they’re usually not that good.

The Satechi Smart TV Box offers a way around this. It’s a streaming device, designed specifically for plugging into your TV and controlling from across the room. But it runs Android. If your Android phone or tablet can do it, the Smart TV Box can probably do it, too.

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Deepin Linux: A Polished Distro That's Easy to Install and Use

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Reviews

I usually don't dig into new distros, unless they have something new to offer. The reason is because there are so many distros that are released everyday that it's challenging, and to some extent, pointless to track them all.

I was not very excited when I decided to download Deepin as I assumed it to be yet another distro. I was wrong. It turned out to be an extremely polished, robust and easy-to-use distribution targeted at traditional Windows or Mac users. So what makes this OS so special? Almost everything.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Reviews

Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca review - Oops. Nope.

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Reviews

What happened? I do not know. Maybe I was just being unlucky. Maybe my HP desktop sucks, and you should avoid Broadcom in Linux. But that's really a lame excuse, if you think about it, because both Qiana and Windows 7, resident on the internal hard disk, behave quite well. Which makes Rebecca a big disappointment.

I don't have a good way of glossing over the issues I've encountered during the preparation of this review. Mint 17.1 did not perform well in my tests. For a range of reasons, package management and desktop customizations were quite horrible, with crashes and hangs. Not acceptable. Then, there are a few other smaller issues that can and should be easily fixed. Overall, though, I can't recommend Rebecca. You'd better stay with Qiana. I will be doing some more testing in the future, for sure, but at the time being, you might skip this. Grade, 6/10.

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Also: First Impressions of Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon Edition

Soylent 1.3 Review

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Reviews

For some, food and the act of eating are merely about sustenance. That mindset is antithetical to the way I approach gastronomy. That said, when Soylent hit the crowd funding scene, I was intrigued. And I wasn’t the only one. They had over $2M in pre-orders using Tilt and have since raised roughly 1.5M from venture capitalists.

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Manjaro Linux: A few of my favorite things

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Reviews

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... oh, no, sorry, that's the wrong list. Ah, ok, here is the correct one: not six, or ten, or some other arbitrary number, just a list of some of my favorite things in Manjaro Linux.

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Review: Kyocera DuraForce is the Android phone designed for The Hulk

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Android
Reviews

In a world of me-too Android smartphones, the Kyocera DuraForce stands out. Way out. It's heavy, bulky, and not exactly pretty. Something The Hulk would carry around.

But as the name suggests, the DuraForce is not meant to be stylish. Instead, it's designed to be abused yet continue working. This ruggedized Android smartphone is meant for construction workers, utility linemen, oil riggers, security guards, coaches, park rangers, and other folks whose work environments are rough and tumble.

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Peppermint Linux 5

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Reviews

Before I start I wanted to give you a bit of background information about Peppermint OS 5 (all of this information can be found in the release notes)

Peppermint 5 is a bit of an eclectic mix of Ubuntu, LXDE, XFCE and Mint. The main Peppermint distribution is based on Ubuntu 14.04 which is the long term support release.

The desktop is LXDE but the window manager is XFWM4 which is part of the XFCE desktop. The graphical package manager MintInstall is part of the Linux Mint distribution.

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today's leftovers

Ninja Blocks prepares to begin shipping, announces major Ubuntu IoT deal

Ninja Blocks has begun shipping the Ninja Sphere and announced it has signed up as a key partner for Canonical’s Ubuntu Core embedded device operating system, as it opens its first office in the US. The startup launched in 2012, when it was selected to participate the Startmate accelerator program, and also smashed a Kickstarter campaign for its first product, which was also called Ninja Blocks. Read more

Netrunner 14.1 – Main Edition (Frontier)

The “14.1” indicates an updated and polished release of Netrunner 14 LTS on the same underlying base. Since 14.1 is using the same base “trusty” like Netrunner 14, there is no need for users of 14 to migrate: Simply updating from the shared backports ppa of the Frontier release cycle should give the same result, while keeping customizations in place. Read more

Wayland 1.6.1 & Weston 1.6.1 Released

Bryce Harrington, the former Canonical employee part of Ubuntu's X/Mir team turned Samsung open-source employee, has issued the first maintenance update for Wayland 1.6. Wayland 1.6.1 and the reference compositor Weston 1.6.1 were released on Friday night by Harrington. The Wayland 1.6.1 stable update has just over a dozen changes and they're mostly tiny bug-fixes/corrections but there is also improved handling for some error situations between servers and clients. The brief Wayland 1.6.1 release announcement can be read on the Wayland mailing list. Read more