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Reviews

Google Nexus 6 review: A larger Moto X with fewer Motorola enhancements

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Android
Reviews

The Nexus 6 is the best Nexus ever and for once a Nexus device is not lacking in any specification. The price reflects the high-end nature of the Nexus 6, but the competition in the Android marketplace is also much stiffer than it was in the past. I still need to use the Nexus 6 a bit more with my T-Mobile SIM to convince myself it isn't the device for me. I enjoy large screen smartphones, but find other offerings to be more compelling.

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Hands-on with Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

The final rease of Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE was announced this weekend. I have picked up both versions, and I have installed them on a number of computers around here, with both legacy (MBR) and UEFI boot. The results have been very good, as expected.

As anyone who has been around Linux much probably knows, Linux Mint (numbered) is derived from Ubuntu. However, starting with Mint 17 the releases no longer track the latest Ubuntu releases. Mint is now based on the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) releases and will update their own distribution as they see fit.

That means that although Ubuntu recently released 14.10, this Mint release is still based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and the new Mint numbering system indicates that (this is 17.1, not 18), although the name change is a bit contrary to that (17.1 is called Rebecca rather than Q..., but I guess Q-names are not easy to come up with.

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Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE

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Reviews

I was very impressed with Linux Mint 17.1. The common feature upgrades and bug fixes add real value to this distribution. The changes in Update Manager, the Login Screen, Language Settings, Kernel Menu, and artwork should please almost all Linux Mint users. And the huge range of background wallpapers, along with the slideshow feature make it a great choice for those who want frequent changes to the look of their Linux Mint systems.

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CuBox-i4Pro: A whole lotta Linux or Android for not a whole lotta cash

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Android
Linux
Reviews

I recently reviewed the Hummingboard, an excellent, low-priced single board computer that competes in the same market as the the Raspberry Pi. Recently the manufacturer of the Hummingboard, SolidRun, sent me one of their new products to check out: The CuBox-i4Pro.

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Ubuntu 14.10 MATE edition - Almost fabulous

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn with the MATE desktop environment is a very cool distro. It suffers from two big problems, one of which has been inherited from its Unity parent, and that would be the inability to format old partitions, created by previous versions of Ubuntu. This is somewhat worrying. Samba printing is another disappointment. There was no screenshot problem like with some other distros, though.

Besides these issues, everything else was perfect. Familiar, friendly, extremely productive. Super fast and super stable, too. There was nothing out of ordinary, no problems. Suspend and resume worked without any issues, the system blazed at the speed of light, and with maybe ten minutes of work, you can transform it into anything you want. Docks, menus, new fonts, new themes, all there, just waiting for you. Total freedom and fun.

There can't be a perfect score, because the associated problems do not allow it. But assuming you had this distro given to you, and someone bothered to install the needed Samba package that normal people require, it would be an excellent alternative to many other mainstream releases. Highly polished, slick, and almost overwhelmingly simple and easy to use. The grade is something like 9.0/10, but it can do better. I demand it. For you, this is an excellent test bed. Go for it.

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Hands-on with the Raspberry Pi Model B+

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Development
Linux
Reviews

There have been a several interesting new hardware announcements from the Raspberry Pi Foundation this year. Sometimes I wonder how they do it all - with so much involvement in education, development of new hardware and software, and the many Pi user groups and events. It really is quite impressive.

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ClassicMenu Indicator Review – A Blast from the Past for Unity and GNOME 2 Fans

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Reviews

ClassicMenu Indicator is an applet designed for Ubuntu systems that brings back a small part of the old GNOME 2 desktop’s functionality. It's a simple solution that is really helping a lot of people to cope with Unity.

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XnConvert Review – An Image Batch Processor like No Other

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Reviews

XnConvert is batch image processor that has been designed to work on multiple operating systems. It comes with a Linux client and it's one of the few tools of its kind on this platform. Let us now take a closer look at the application to see why it's incredibly useful.

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Where is M13? Review – A Simple and Powerful Galactic Atlas

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Reviews

Where is M13? is a planetarium application that allows users to view details about distant objects in the sky, covering a very large number of items ranging from stars to other galaxies. There are not many apps that can do this, so most of the shortcomings could be forgotten.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Reviews
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Open Source Meritocracy Is More Than a Joke

In January 2014, Github removed the rug in its office's waiting room in response to criticism of its slogan, "United Meritocracy of Github." Since then, the criticism of the idea of meritocracy has spread in free software circles. "Meritocracy is a joke," has become a slogan seen on T-shirts and constantly proclaimed, especially by feminists. Such commentary is true — so far as it goes, but it ignores the potential benefits of meritocracy as an ethos. Anyone who bothers to look can see that meritocracy is more of an ideal than a standard practice in free software. The idea that people should be valued for their contributions may seem to be a way to promote fairness, but the practice is frequently more complicated. Read more Also: Unmanagement and unleadership

Linux Kernel Developers Consider Live Kernel Patching Solution

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A real-time editing tool for Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of the most frequently visited websites in the world. The vast online encyclopedia, editable by anyone, has become the go-to source for general information on any subject. However, the "crowdsourcing" used by Wikipedia opens their doors to spin and whitewashing–edits that may be less than factual in nature. To help journalists, citizens, and activists track these edits, TWG (The Working Group) partnered with Metro News and the Center for Investigative Reporting to build WikiWash. Read more