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Reviews

Leftovers: Screenshots

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HP Ubuntu laptop (255 G1) review

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HP’s latest notebook saves money by ditching Windows for Ubuntu. Is your next notebook Open Source?

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Taking Ubuntu 14.10 for a ride

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu is one of the more widely used GNU/Linux distributions in the world with the project's parent company, Canonical, reporting around 30 million computers shipping with Ubuntu pre-installed in the past two years. Ubuntu, along with its many community editions, continues to be used by millions around the world and the decisions made by Ubuntu developers have an direct impact on many computer users.

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Nexus 9 Review: A Powerful Tablet…for Android Die-Hards Only

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Android
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The Nexus 7 formula wasn’t broken, but Google went and fixed it anyway. The Nexus 7 tablet has been discontinued, and the Nexus 9 is the replacement.

Designed by Google in collaboration with HTC, the Nexus 9 is bigger, less portable and almost twice as expensive as its predecessor. With a 9-inch display and $399 price tag, it’s now competing squarely against Apple ’s iPad Air models. After using the Nexus 9 for almost a week, I can say that while it’s a great tablet, it’s not for everybody.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Preview of Cinnamon 2.4. Features desktop slideshow

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GNOME
Reviews

A preview release of what will become Cinnamon 2.4 is now available for testing. The stable version will ship with Linux Mint 17.1, which will be released at the end of the month, but if you’re willing to take it for a spin and report any bugs you find, you can upgrade to it now.

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Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review: deceptively simple

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Ubuntu

For an operating system named after a magical creature, the release might strike some of you as somewhat overwhelmingly similar to the previous release, Trusty.

It’s the same creepy default wallpaper (if there is a difference I failed to notice it), the Amazon icon remains firmly conspicuous in the launcher despite protests and there is the same old universal purple shade.

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Ubuntu 14.10 review

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Ubuntu

I haven’t done a review of Ubuntu in a while, so the release of Ubuntu 14.10 last week game me a good excuse to do just that.

Code-named Utopic Unicorn, Ubuntu 14.10 is the last Ubuntu release this year. There are two releases per year and Ubuntu 14.04, code-named Trusty Tahr, was the first 2014 release of the popular desktop distribution that’s sponsored by Canonical. Ubuntu is, of course, not just a desktop distribution, but also features server, Cloud and Kylin editions. Ubuntu Kylin is an edition specifically designed for Chinese users. This review will be just about the desktop edition.

According to the Release Notes, Ubuntu 14.10 is not an LTS (Long-Term Support) edition, and so it will be supported for just nine months, that is until July 2015. Which brings up a question I’m sure has been tackled before: Why release a distribution that will be supported for just nine months? And why would any person bother upgrading to an OS that will be supported for just nine months. Even Microsoft doesn’t do that.

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GSmartControl Review – Read SMART Data and Test Your Drives

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GSmartControl is an application that allows users to check the health of the drives with the help of the SMART data. It's not a unique application and there are others that can do this job, but it's always a good thing to have alternatives.

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Xine Media Player Review – Powerful but Outdated

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OSS
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Xine is both an open source multimedia playback engine and a video playback application that's been around for a very long time. The number of people using this application has diminished, and there are few maintained third-party apps that are based on this engine. We'll take a closer look at the application to see why this is happening.

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Kernel 3.18 development – the kernel column

Linus Torvalds announced Linux 3.17, the Shuffling Zombie Juror, saying, “The past week was fairly calm, and so I have no qualms about releasing 3.17 on the normal schedule”. The latest kernel includes a number of nice headline features, such as the new getrandom() system call and sealed files APIs that we covered in previous issues of LU&D. Linux 3.17 also includes support for less highlighted new features, such as new signature checking of kexec()’d kernel images and sparse files on Samba file systems (which is significant for those mounting Windows and Mac shares). Read more

Qt 5.4 Release Candidate Available

I am happy to announce that Qt 5.4 Release Candidate is now available. After the Qt5.4 Beta release we have done some build & packaging related updates in addition to large number of error fixes based on feedback from Beta release. Read more

Weston's IVI Shell Sees New Version

There hasn't been much in the way of exciting Wayland/Weston developments to report on this month, but its development is continuing in its usual manner. Out today is another version of the Weston IVI Shell as it still works to being accepted upstream. The weston-ivi-shell is a reference shell for Wayland's Weston compositor running on In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems. The Weston-IVI work dates back many months and today's revision to the shell marks its eighth public version as it still seeks to be accepted into mainline Weston. Read more

Python 3 Support Added To The GNOME Shell

The GNOME Shell 3.15.2 release fixes some visual glitching, improves the layout of the extension installation dialog, supports the CSS margin property, and offers other bug fixes and minor enhancements. Most notable to GNOME Shell 3.15.2 though is there's finally Python 3 support. Many GNOME components have long ported their Python 2 code to Python 3 while GNOME Shell's Python support has just received the Py3 treatment. Details on GNOME's overall Python 3 porting work can be found via this Wiki page. Read more