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Reviews

A Preview into Manokwari Desktop Environment from BlankOn X "Tambora"

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Manokwari is a desktop environment from BlankOn GNU/Linux operating system. In this manner, Manokwari is similar with Budgie from Solus OS, or DDE from deepin OS. While the current BlankOn OS is slowly moving into the new 10.0 version (codename "Tambora"), the current Manokwari gets a new feature I want to introduce here. This article is an intro for you who are totally new to Manokwari.

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Xubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak - A breath of fresh air

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Xubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak is far from perfect. It's also not the finest Xubuntu release by a long shot, and the streak of awesome in 2014-2015 remains unmatched. Yes, it is very difficult to create successful distros when they are based on stupidity. However, Yakkety Xfce does manage a dose of normalcy and quality in the sea of dross.

The inconsistency in system behavior compared to Ubuntu is quite worrying, and this is nothing new. It remains Public Enemy No.1 in the Linux world. But if we put this crap aside, all in all, Xubuntu Yak displayed some fairly decent traits. It is fast, good looking, with adequate smartphone and multimedia support, even in the live session, solid results on the network side save for the Realtek card, neat performance, and solid hardware support. Yes, there are problems and glitches, and of course, the unholy Gnome Software needs to be destroyed with photon torpedoes.

Giving a high score to Xubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak may look as if it's getting credit only because all other Ubuntu releases this year were horrible. But it is not so. If we exclude the hardware-specific issues with the Realtek drivers, which is a big issue across the entire distro world, and the package manager choice, there weren't any huge, cardinal problems this time. It would seem that Xubuntu is recovering gently. Perhaps it is still too early to tell, but Yak is much, much better than Xerus. And it deserves 8/10. I feel as if a weight has dropped off my chest. After so much torture and pain, we finally get something reasonable. Even likable. Fun perhaps. Well there you go. This is a first Ubuntu release worth testing, after a whole year of failures. Go for it. See you soon.

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Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety and Kubuntu 16.10

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KDE
Reviews
Ubuntu
  • Kubuntu 16.10 - obey and not destroy

    The times changed, and my best friend is now Xubuntu 16.04, whereas my latest attempts to try Kubuntu back in 2011 and 2012 were not so nice.

    I tried more recent versions of this operating system when I got orders for DVDs through the BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site, but they impressed me so little that I didn’t bother to write anything about them.

    Kubuntu 16.10 was released few weeks ago, and I decided to give it a go. The results were more impressive this time.

  • 5 Reasons Why Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak Is Worth a Look

    The latest version of the most popular Linux distribution is here, and it’s called Ubuntu 16.10. This release comes six months after its predecessor. The user-friendly desktop doesn’t offer any substantial new features this time around. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, views the existing experience as largely complete.

  • Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak - Cue in Benny Hill music

    Benny Hill's music makes everything better. Fact. Now, I most strongly recommend that you hit Yakety Sax on Youtube, and let it play for the duration of this review. Your reading experience may be improved. Anyhow, it is time to test Ubuntu again. It's only been six month since the rather underwhelming Xerus LTS, and only a few days since I tested it the second time around, with only marginal improvements.

    I am really angry, because I feel that the Linux desktop is dying, and Canonical is slowly spearheading this effort, the same way it once led Linux out of the basement and into the mainstream awareness. But let's see what gives. Maybe Yakkety Yak is a good release. Maybe it will behave nicely on my G50 box. Let us.

Q4OS+Trinity Gives New Meaning to Lightweight

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The name of the developers is not publicized on the website, but Q4OS clearly is intended as more than a community-supported general purpose Linux distro. The website also invites businesses to makes use of Q4OS.org's commercial support and software customization services.

The Trinity desktop provides a lightweight KDE environment. The Q4OS platform shows strong potential for business use. It could provide an interesting alternative for consumer home and small business use.

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5 Alternatives To Microsoft Office In Linux

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Linux
Microsoft
Reviews

Microsoft Office is the de-facto standard office suite there in the world, but unfortunately it is not available to we, the “free” folk on linux. Sure there are quite a few number of ways to use it on Linux, either by using a virtual PC or employing ….. Which also allows you to run it on Linux. Either way the experience might not be the best. Fortunately also, this has also allowed for the creation of some very capable alternatives on Linux, and today, we’d take a look at 5 of the very top office suites that are available on Linux.

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elementary OS 0.4 "Loki"

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Right now my overall opinion of elementary OS 0.4 is that there are some great design ideas at work, but a lot of rough edges in the implementation. Looking at the desktop, its layout and especially when looking at the well organized (and mute-able) notification area, it's clear a lot of thought has gone into the design. However, I ran into several lock-ups or glitches which would probably turn away the newcomers this efficient design is going to attract. Hopefully the problems I ran into will be worked out in time for the next release, because I like the style and approach elementary OS is taking.

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Solus review - The distro that could not

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Damn. I'm so miffed. I was really hoping to test Solus some more and exploring its capabilities. I wanted to see how well it would handle my smartphones, its performance, I was having high hopes around battery life, and the application stack looks interesting. This was also a first chance for me to check how well Budgie handles real hardware. All that was taken away from me by a silly bootloader error. Yes, the forum mentions it, but why.

Such a missed opportunity. Solus 1.2.0.5 had a fresh air of originality about it, it had the right dose of good looks, and it seemed to handle the functionality side, too. My final evaluation will have to wait for a future version, as this one is a no-go. I would also have to advise you to be careful with your own testing, as you may not be savvy enough in how to recover from failed boots. Be warned. The live session was top notch, but no grade here, as we didn't really get to experience Solus. Sigh, Maybe another time.

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Desktop Environment Review: Budgie

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Budgie is a new desktop environment created for Solus Operating System, emphasized to be user-friendly. Budgie is not a descendant from any previous desktop environment, so it's not a fork of GNOME nor KDE. This review covers some aspects of Budgie at its latest version today (10.2.8). It is my first time to review Budgie Desktop Environment. For Mr. Ikey Doherty, thank you!

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Polar M600 review: For Android users who want to be more connected during workouts

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Android
Reviews

There's no shortage of Android Wear watches to choose from. Companies including Huawei, LG, Casio, and Fossil all have smartwatches that run on Google's wearable operating system, and all of them can use Google Fit's activity tracking. Now, the fitness company Polar is getting into the mix with the M600 Android Wear-based fitness watch, which is the first device that integrates Polar's existing exercise software with Android Wear.

The M600 wants to appeal to a specific kind of user: one who is into fitness and wants a heart rate monitor and onboard GPS in their tracker, but who also cares about getting wrist notifications and using wearable apps. But at $329, Polar's device is right up there with the Apple Watch in price, and that might be too steep for some consumers, considering the experience it offers is much different.

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Ubuntu 16.10 review: Convergence is in a holding pattern; consistency’s here instead

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Reviews
Ubuntu

There's plenty in Ubuntu 16.10 that makes it worth the upgrade, though nothing about Canonical's latest release is groundbreaking. This less experimental but worthwhile update continues to refine and bug-fix what at this point has become the fastest, stablest, least-likely-to-completely-change-between-point releases of the three major "modern" Linux desktops.

Still, while the Unity 7.5 desktop offers stability and speed today, it's not long for this world. Ubuntu 16.10 is the seventh release since the fabled Unity 8 and its accompanying Mir display server were announced. Yet in Ubuntu 16.10, there's still no Unity 8 nor Mir.

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Development News

Security Leftovers

  • How To Improve The Linux System’s Security Using Firejail
    As you already know, Linux kernel is secure by default. But, it doesn’t mean that the softwares on the Linux system are completely secure. Say for example, there is a possibility that any add-ons on your web browser may cause some serious security issues. While doing financial transactions over internet, some key logger may be active in browser which you are not aware of. Even though, we can’t completely give the bullet-proof security to our Linux box, we still can add an extra pinch of security using an application called Firejail. It is a security utility which can sandbox any such application and let it to run in a controlled environment. To put this simply, Firejail is a SUID (Set owner User ID up on execution) program that reduces the risk of security breaches by restricting the running environment of untrusted applications.
  • “Httpd and Relayd Mastery” off to copyedit
  • Kalyna Block Cipher

Containers vs. Zones vs. Jails vs. VMs

  • Setting the Record Straight: containers vs. Zones vs. Jails vs. VMs
    I’m tired of having the same conversation over and over again with people so I figured I would put it into a blog post. Many people ask me if I have tried or what I think of Solaris Zones / BSD Jails. The answer is simply: I have tried them and I definitely like them. The conversation then heads towards them telling me how Zones and Jails are far superior to containers and that I should basically just give up with Linux containers and use VMs. Which to be honest is a bit forward to someone who has spent a large portion of her career working with containers and trying to make containers more secure. Here is what I tell them:
  • [Old] Hadoop Has Failed Us, Tech Experts Say

    The Hadoop community has so far failed to account for the poor performance and high complexity of Hadoop, Johnson says. “The Hadoop ecosystem is still basically in the hands of a small number of experts,” he says. “If you have that power and you’ve learned know how to use these tools and you’re programmer, then this thing is super powerful. But there aren’t a lot of those people. I’ve read all these things how we need another million data scientists in the world, which I think means our tools aren’t very good.”

Wine and Games

  • [Wine] Packaging changes
    Today we want to announce some important changes regarding the Wine Staging packages provided at repos.wine-staging.com and dl.winehq.org. We completely reworked our build system to make the packages available sooner after a release and also added some new features, like downloading old packages for Debian / Ubuntu. The complete list of changes can be found in the announcement email on the Wine mailing list.
  • Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition Announced for PC, Mac, Linux, and Mobile
  • Podcast #6 with Ethan Lee, Porter on Fez, Transistor
    Have you ever played Fez on Linux ? Transistor ? Speed Runners ? Shenzen I/O ? Bastion ? or more recently, Owlboy ? Well if you have, you have benefited from the work of Flibitijibibo who is directly responsible for the port of such titles to your platform.