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Reviews

Zorin OS 12 Beta - Flat white, no sugar

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Reviews

I did not do any other testing, no extensive tweaking, no customization. I felt no need or desire to do so. Now, do remember Zorin OS 12 is still in beta, so we can excuse some of the problems we see here. But others are purely Ubuntu, and have been ported over from the parent distro without any discrimination or any improvements and fixes introduced in the last six months. The big offenders include: multimedia and smartphone support, poor software management, and then the somewhat heavy utilization and slow performance.

Zorin is quite pretty but weary on the eyes, it tries perhaps too hard to be more than it is, and overall, the value it brings is negatively offset by the myriad papercuts of its design and the implementation of its unique style, plus the failings of the Ubuntu family. It's an okay choice, if you will, but there's nothing too special about it anymore. It's not as fun as it used to be. Gone is the character, gone is the glamor. This aligns well with the overall despair in the Linux desktop world. Maybe the official release will be better, but I doubt it. Why would suddenly one distro excel where 50 others of the same crop had failed with the exact same problems? Final grade, 5/10. Test if you like the looks, other than that, there's no incentive in really using Zorin. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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Ubuntu 16.10 Review

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Ubuntu

The list of major new features in Ubuntu 16.10 is impressive and interesting, but only if you are using the server product. Very little has changed on the desktop side of things other than the included packages being slightly newer. In fact, other than touting the number of applications available as Snaps, the only desktop-focused feature in the release announcement is a developer preview of Unity 8 desktop.

To see what the desktop version of Ubuntu 16.10 has to offer compared to the previous 16.04 LTS release, I downloaded the 1.48GB ISO and gave it a try. Below, I take a look at what is new and different. I also take a look at the Unity 8 developer preview.

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Also: Why is Ubuntu's Unity 8 development taking so long?

Elementary OS 0.4 LOKI is one of the best distro based on Ubuntu & better too

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Elementary OS 0.4 LOKI was released on last month 09 Sep, 2016 almost one and half year of development, after succeeds Freya which was released in April of 2015. Elementary OS 0.4 LOKI based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Long Term Support).

Elementary is one of the beautiful Linux distribution based on Ubuntu LTS release with power of Pantheon flagship desktop environment. Loki is clean, elegant, polish, perfect and best designed Linux distributions for beginners, Mac & windows users, it looks similar to Mac OS.

The previous release of elementary OS Freya was downloaded more than 1.2 million times, which is the biggest achievement on FOSS as per elementary founder, Daniel Foré reports.

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Ubuntu 16.10 Review: Not Bad, But if You’re Happy with 16.04 LTS, Stick with it!

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Reviews
Ubuntu

After the previous 16.04 Long Term Release, Ubuntu has rolled out its latest ‘short term’ (my own naming convention for the non-LTS releases) version 16.10. Mainly, the ‘short term’ releases are only supported for 9 months and usually include software applications with their recent updates.

When you release a new version of your operating system within every 6 months, usually there isn’t a lot of room for adding major changes. And that is the case with many GNU/Linux distributions these days, and Ubuntu 16.10 release is no exception. Since Unity is based on the user application set provided by GNOME desktop environment, according to the release notes, the underlying GNOME user applications have been upgraded to the version 3.20 at least (which is the case with the file manager -- ‘files’, for instance) and some others have been upgraded to the version 3.22 which is the latest release of GNOME currently.

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Open-source storage that doesn't suck? Our man tries to break TrueNAS

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Server
OSS
Reviews

Review Data storage is difficult, and ZFS-based storage doubly so. There's a lot of money to be made if you can do storage right, so it's uncommon to see a storage company with an open-source model deliver storage that doesn't suck.

I looked at TrueNAS from iXsystems, which, importantly, targets the SMB and midmarket with something that is theoretically more resilient than a Synology. That's really odd. Not a lot of companies do that, so it intrigued me.

I'd also had a few interesting conversations with some Reg readers about the dearth of storage offerings for the "small, but not Synology small" business space.

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Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Maui, the Netrunner Kubuntu replacement, is an inviting alternative. It is both new and already accomplished. The developers took a Kubuntu distro that was well-oiled but at the end of its development line to the next level.

That should make adopting the Maui Linux distro a less risky option. Most other Linux distros are moving in the new direction of Wayland, Systemd and such. Maui's developers are already there.

Maui 1 is very stable and easy to use. It is a well-stocked distribution with an established library of KDE software.

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Google Pixel review: Bland, pricey, but still the best Android phone

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Google
Reviews

Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again).

Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of "Senior Vice President," Osterloh doesn't oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group's coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we're looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL.

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Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Review

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Ubuntu

Overall, I want to congratulate the Ubuntu MATE development team on really working hard to nail the user experience. This is one of the better distributions out there and a great example for others with regards to the Welcome app and the initial introduction to the system. If you are looking for a solid desktop environment to explore, be sure to give Ubuntu MATE a try, it's an excellent distribution.

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Elementary OS 0.4 Loki - Ragnarok

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

It is elementary, dear readers. The formula for creating the perfect distro. If only so. But people are trying, and among the many who are striving to transform Linux is the bunch behind elementary. Prettiness be their middle name, and they even have a rad (not) .io domain for their website. Silly stuff aside, you can even buy the distro if you want.

In the past, elementary OS seems to have charmed my readers more than it did me. You kept on asking, and again, we have a recurring pattern of emails hitting my inbox. Well, let us test again, then, shall we. G50 machine, Loki release.

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GNU/Linux Review: Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak desktop version is released today October 13th 2016. It is a regular release, supported for 9 months (until July 2017), bringing dual desktop environments, Unity 7 and Unity 8. This review covers 9 points, mainly about Ubuntu Yakkety bringing the new desktop environment Unity 8 on top of the new Mir Display Server plus many information you may find useful. Yakkety includes Unity 8 as a testing purpose, so every user can feel how Unity 8 is at a glance. Overall, this new Ubuntu release is already suitable for desktop use (Unity 7 only) but really not suitable for low-RAM computers.

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today's leftovers

  • Mesa's Shader Cache Will Now Occupy Less Disk Space
    Mesa previously had a hard-coded limit to not take up more than 10% of your HDD/SSD storage, but now that limit has been halved. In a change to Mesa 17.2-dev Git and primed for back-porting to Mesa 17.1, Timothy Arceri has lowered the cache size limit to 5% of the disk space. He noted in the commit, "Modern disks are extremely large and are only going to get bigger. Usage has shown frequent Mesa upgrades can result in the cache growing very fast i.e. wasting a lot of disk space unnecessarily. 5% seems like a more reasonable default."
  • Amazon EC2 Cloud Benchmarks vs. AMD Ryzen, Various AMD/Intel Systems
  • Epiphany 3.25.1 Released, Ported To Meson
    Epiphany 3.25.1 has been released as the latest update for GNOME's Web Browser in what will be part of GNOME 3.26 this September. Epiphany 3.25.1 has continued the trend by other GNOME components in porting to the Meson build system. With Epiphany 3.25.1, Meson is present and its Autotools build system has been removed.
  • Tumbleweed Snapshots Update Fonts, Perl, Python Packages
    openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week gave many newer versions of Perl and Python packages, but several other packages were updated in the repositories including some open fonts. Google and Adobe fonts were updated in snapshots 20170424 and 20170420 with google-croscore-fonts and adobe-sourcehansans-fonts being added to the repositories respectively.
  • 3 cool features in Ubuntu 17.04
    April showers bring May flowers, and fresh versions of Ubuntu too. Canonical’s latest official Ubuntu release—17.04—arrived this month after news of the death of Unity 8 and the return to the GNOME desktop in 2018. For now, Ubuntu is still shipping with its Unity desktop. I wrote earlier that most users who need stability and support over new features will probably want to stick with Ubuntu 16.04, which was released last April, until Ubuntu 18.04 arrives a year from now. However, there are a few small things in Ubuntu 17.04 that will appeal to users who are keen to get all the newest updates.
  • Linux Security and Isolation APIs course in Munich (17-19 July 2017)
    I've scheduled the first public instance of my "Linux Security and Isolation APIs" course to take place in Munich, Germany on 17-19 July 2017. (I've already run the course a few times very successfully in non-public settings.) This three-day course provides a deep understanding of the low-level Linux features (set-UID/set-GID programs, capabilities, namespaces, cgroups, and seccomp) used to build container, virtualization, and sandboxing technologies. The course format is a mixture of theory and practical.

more of today's howtos

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Microsoft Begs, Bugs, and Bug Doors

  • Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft
    Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine. It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it's ready.
  • Microsoft Word flaw took so long to fix that hackers used it to send fraud software to millions of computers
    A flaw in Microsoft Word took the tech giant so long to fix that hackers were able to use it to send fraud software to millions of computers, it has been revealed. The security flaw, officially known as CVE-2017-0199, could allow a hacker to seize control of a personal computer with little trace, and was fixed on April 11 in Microsoft's regular monthly security update - nine months after it was discovered.