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Reviews

System76 Galago Pro Review with Pop!_OS — Is Pop!_OS Just Another Distribuntu?

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Reviews
Ubuntu

But what really drew me in was the stunning iconography, which was particularly surprising. Despite Linux being synonymous with customization and there being too many icon sets to count, many of them, while attractive in their own right, fail to embody what we expect in a professional or commercial product. That’s not to say that their artwork itself is unprofessional, but many are intended to be playful or are created with a particular style in mind that is not typical of professional environments. System76 has created a stunning set of icons that don’t undermine the power of Linux and will hopefully attract professionals from all fields to try out Linux as a part of their productivity suite.

The final release of Pop!_OS has been released, and since I encountered no bugs while playing with the alpha, I’d be hard-pressed to believe there are any show-stoppers in the final release, so I highly recommend you give it a try and show your non-Linux using friends how cost-free doesn’t necessarily mean aesthetic-free.

Find the high-resolution Golago Pro pictures here on Google Drive.

Did you find this System76 Golago Pro review interesting? Don’t forget to share your views with us.

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Ubuntu 17.10 Review: A Little Slow While Booting (Compared to 17.04) But Quite Stable

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Reviews

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been using Ubuntu 17.10 for more than a week now. Compared to Ubuntu 17.04 it is a bit slow while booting, yet slightly lightweight, very responsive (again, I had to manually tweak the I/O scheduler to make it responsive), power efficient, shuts down fast and is very stable. Even though there is no Unity desktop shell anymore, they’ve tweaked GNOME to look a lot alike as well. So all in all, I’m quite happy with this release.

That said, I’ve been using KDE plasma desktop that came with Manjaro 17.02 for the past few months, and I’m beginning to love KDE more & more. One of the reasons why I was forced to look for an alternative was because of some of the limitations of the GNOME desktop (I’m not going to go into the details since I’ve mentioned some of the these reasons in my other reviews). Therefore, despite my judgement derived from this Ubuntu 17.10 review, I’ve decided to switch to KDE (well, for now at least).

But I wanted to stay closer to the core Ubuntu platform, thus I’ve chosen the old girl, Debian, Debian 9 (‘Stretch’) KDE edition, to be precise. I’ve already downloaded it and going to give it a go. That said, if you’re an Ubuntu fan, and want to try out the 17.10 release, then why not, it looks good to me.

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Also: The Best GTK Themes for Ubuntu

REVIEW: There's only one reason you should buy LG's latest smartphone — and plenty of reasons not to

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Android
Reviews

One of the things I consider when it comes to reviewing new smartphones is whether it could comfortably replace whatever device I'm currently using.

When I reviewed Google's Pixel 2 XL, it made me want to switch from my iPhone 6s Plus, and I've been using the Pixel 2 XL ever since. The $800+ LG V30, on the other hand, has not made me want to switch.

To be clear, that's not to say that the LG V30 is a bad phone. Samsung's mighty Galaxy phones haven't made me want to switch, either, and the Galaxy phones' success is a clear sign that people love those phones.

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Samsung Gear Sport review: The company's best smartwatch yet

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Android
Reviews

The new Gear Sport is not only a great successor to 2015's Gear S2, but also Samsung's best ever all-around smartwatch. It manages to be notably smaller and lighter than the Gear S3, while keeping nearly all of its capabilities. Samsung's wearables still attempt to do too much with overbearing software on a tiny screen. But that's worthwhile in order to get the great fitness tracking, which doesn't tie you into a specific ecosystem, and an overall great interface.

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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]

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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.

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Tizen News

OSS Leftovers

  • How Open Source Tech Helps Feds Solve Workforce Turnover Issues
    Just as a mainframe from decades ago might be ready for retirement, the IT staff who originally procured and installed that system might also be preparing for a new phase in their lives. It’s up to the current and next generation of government IT employees to prepare for that eventuality, but there are indications they may not be ready, despite evidence that older IT professionals are retiring or will soon be leaving their positions. Unfortunately, a skills gap exists even among younger generation IT workers. Agencies are scrambling to find personnel with expertise in cloud service management, cybersecurity, technical architecture and legacy technologies, such as common business-oriented language (COBOL) and mainframes, among other areas. At the same time that many workers are getting ready to retire, leaving behind a wealth of knowledge, many younger IT professionals are struggling to gain the knowledge they will need to take their agencies into the future.
  • Introducing Fn: “Serverless must be open, community-driven, and cloud-neutral”
    Fn, a new serverless open source project was announced at this year’s JavaOne. There’s no risk of cloud lock-in and you can write functions in your favorite programming language. “You can make anything, including existing libraries, into a function by packaging it in a Docker container.” We invited Bob Quillin, VP for the Oracle Container Group to talk about Fn, its best features, next milestones and more.
  • Debian seminar in Yokohama, 2017/11/18
    I had attended to Tokyo area debian seminar #157. The day’s special guest is Chris Lamb, the Debian Project Leader in 2017. He had attended to Open Compliance Summit, so we invited him as our guest.
  • Overclock Labs bets on Kubernetes to help companies automate their cloud infrastructure
    Overclock Labs wants to make it easier for developers to deploy and manage their applications across clouds. To do so, the company is building tools to automate distributed cloud infrastructure and, unsurprisingly, it is betting on containers — and specifically the Kubernetes container orchestration tools — to do this. Today, Overclock Labs, which was founded two years ago, is coming out of stealth and announcing that it raised a $1.3 million seed round from a number of Silicon Valley angel investors and CrunchFund — the fund that shares a bit of its name and history with TechCrunch but is otherwise completely unaffiliated with the blog you are currently reading.
  • MariaDB Energizes the Data Warehouse with Open Source Analytics Solution
    MariaDB® Corporation, the company behind the fastest growing open source database, today announced new product enhancements to MariaDB AX, delivering a modern approach to data warehousing that enables customers to easily perform fast and scalable analytics with better price performance over proprietary solutions. MariaDB AX expands the highly successful MariaDB Server, creating a solution that enables high performance analytics with distributed storage and parallel processing, and that scales with existing commodity hardware on premises or across any cloud platform. With MariaDB AX, data across every facet of the business is transformed into meaningful and actionable results.
  • AT&T Wants White Box Routers with an Open Operating System [Ed: AT&T wants to openwash its surveillance equipment]
    AT&T says it’s not enough to deploy white box hardware and to orchestrate its networks with the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) software. “Each individual machine also needs its own operating system,” writes Chris Rice, senior vice president of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture, in a blog post. To that end, AT&T announced its newest effort — the Open Architecture for a Disaggregated Network Operating System (dNOS).
  • Intel Lands Support For Vector Neural Network Instructions In LLVM
  • p2k17 Hackathon report: Antoine Jacoutot on ports+packages progress
  • GCC 8 Feature Development Is Over
    Feature development on the GCC 8 compiler is over with it now entering stage three of its development process. SUSE's Richard Biener announced minutes ago that GCC 8 entered stage three development, meaning only general bug fixing and documentation updates are permitted.
  • 2018 Is The Year For Open Source Software For The Pentagon
  • Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out
    Two organizations founded to help and support developers of free and open-source software have locked horns in public, betraying a long-running quarrel rumbling mostly behind the scenes. On one side, the Software Freedom Law Center, which today seeks to resolve licensing disputes amicably. On the other, the Software Freedom Conservancy, which takes a relatively harder line against the noncompliance of licensing terms. The battleground: the, er, US Patent and Trademark Office. The law center has demanded the cancellation of a trademark held by the conservancy.
  • Open Source Underwater Glider: An Interview with Alex Williams, Grand Prize Winner
    Alex Williams pulled off an incredible engineering project. He developed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) which uses a buoyancy engine rather than propellers as its propulsion mechanism and made the entire project Open Source and Open Hardware.

Programming Leftovers

Security: Linux, Free Software Principles, Microsoft and Intel

  • Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds
    Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has offered some very choice words about different approaches security, during a discussion about whitelisting features proposed for version 4.15 of the Linux kernel. Torvalds' ire was directed at open software aficionado and member of Google's Pixel security team Kees Cook, who he has previously accused of idiocy. Cook earned this round of shoutiness after he posted a request to “Please pull these hardened usercopy changes for v4.15-rc1.”
  • Free Software Principles
    Ten thousand dollars is more than $3,000, so the motives don't add up for me. Hutchins may or may not have written some code, and that code may or may not have been used to commit a crime. Tech-literate people, such as the readers of Linux Magazine, understand the difference between creating a work and using it to commit a crime, but most of the media coverage – in the UK, at least – has been desperate to follow the paradigm of building a man up only to gleefully knock him down. Even his achievement of stopping WannaCry is decried as "accidental," a word full of self-deprecating charm when used by Hutchins, but which simply sounds malicious in the hands of the Daily Mail and The Telegraph.
  • New warning over back door in Linux
    Researchers working at Russian cyber security firm Dr Web claim to have found a new vulnerability that enables remote attackers to crack Linux installations virtually unnoticed. According to the anti-malware company, cyber criminals are getting into the popular open-source operating system via a new backdoor. This, they say, is "indirect evidence" that cyber criminals are showing an increasing interest in targeting Linux and the applications it powers. The trojan, which it's calling Linux.BackDoor.Hook.1, targets the library libz primarily. It offers compression and extraction capabilities for a plethora of Linux-based programmes.
  • IN CHATLOGS, CELEBRATED HACKER AND ACTIVIST CONFESSES COUNTLESS SEXUAL ASSAULTS
  • Bipartisan Harvard panel recommends hacking [sic] safeguards for elections
     

    The guidelines are intended to reduce risks in low-budget local races as well as the high-stakes Congressional midterm contests next year. Though most of the suggestions cost little or nothing to implement and will strike security professionals as common sense, notorious attacks including the leak of the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, have succeeded because basic security practices were not followed.  

  • Intel Chip Flaws Leave Millions of Devices Exposed
     

    On Monday, the chipmaker released a security advisory that lists new vulnerabilities in ME, as well as bugs in the remote server management tool Server Platform Services, and Intel’s hardware authentication tool Trusted Execution Engine. Intel found the vulnerabilities after conducting a security audit spurred by recent research. It has also published a Detection Tool so Windows and Linux administrators can check their systems to see if they're exposed.