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Reviews

Android Auto and Android TV

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Android
Reviews
  • Chevrolet Spark running Android Auto: hands-on first look

    We recently got a chance to check out the big Chevrolet event in Detroit, Michigan, which allowed us to take a look at all things Android Auto. While many other auto manufacturers have revealed that a number of their new vehicles would come with Android Auto pre-installed, Chevrolet recently announced that it’s bringing Android Auto to 14 of its new 2016 model vehicles. Today we’re taking a look at the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Spark – an affordable vehicle for anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank.

  • Android TV: First Impressions of NVIDIA SHIELD

    The NVIDIA SHIELD is one of the newest Android TV devices to land on the market. Not to mention, it is available in two different (and quite contrasting) size models, a 16GB internal storage version and the much larger 500GB variant. The NVIDIA Android TV option has been a device which has taken its time in coming to the market (at least from the consumer’s perspective) and is one of the more highly awaited devices. We have one here and will be looking at it in more detail over the coming weeks. Not to mention with our major review of the product to come soon. However, in the meantime, we thought it would be a good time to take a quick look at the SHIELD and provide some first and brief impressions of the device.

Makulu 9 Aero Soars Above the Linux Distro Crowd

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Linux
Reviews

The special release of Makulu 9 Aero edition might seem like one flexible Linux offering too many. However, anyone hankering for a Windows-like operating system and the best of what is easy about using Linux could not make a better choice.

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QUICK MEIZU MX4 UBUNTU EDITION REVIEW

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Even though the recently released Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition has pretty good specs, I think it's safe to say that the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition is the first high end Ubuntu phone. The device looks top notch and feels high quality - at 144 x 75.2 x 8.9 mm, the phone is robust and the ergonomics are quite good.

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Mageia 5

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MDV
Reviews

Ubuntu 15.04: evolution continues

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 15.04 is a next step in the development of Canonical's flagship distribution. It definitely becomes more useful with each release, and you can see that since version 11.10 where Unity first appeared.

Of course, many argue that Ubuntu becomes more commercialized with all the adware and bloatware. But, as with other Open Source systems, there are ways to switch unnecessary components off, if you dislike them.

For me Ubuntu 15.04 is a nice distribution. I hope that next Long-term Support version 16.04 will not be worse.

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A Look at Mageia 5’s Magic

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Reviews

Other than that, I’ve found Mageia 5 to be a fine, easy-to-use distro with plenty of spit and polish, a distro I’d have no trouble recommending to anyone. Indeed, it would be near the top of my list of recommendations for anyone who’s looking for a distro that isn’t derived from Ubuntu/Debian or Fedora/Red Hat. It’s stable and well maintained, with a strong user community.

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NVIDIA Shield TV review: the best Android set-top box you can buy

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Android
Reviews

Never let it be said that Google gives up on ideas that don't pan out the first time. Remember when it tried invading our living rooms with clunky, disappointing set-top boxes? And then when that very same software went on to find a life right on smart TVs? Think of all that as a prelude to where we are today -- Google TV has given way to Android TV, and now NVIDIA's cooked up an interesting spin on a formula that's nearly a year old. The Shield TV's gaming cred and sleek design make it far and away the most interesting Android TV setup we've seen to date, but does that mean it's worth your hard-earned cash? The short answer is "yes," but the Shield only shines brightest if you've got the right sort of hardware already in place.

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CompuLab's Fitlet Is A Very Tiny, Fanless, Linux PC With AMD A10 Micro

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

CompuLab, the manufacturer of the Fitlet based in Israel, describes their new line-up as, "a fanless mini PC with high performance, excellent graphics, up to 4 LAN ports and 5 year warranty. filtet is among the smallest PCs available and packs more features than any similar PC...For those familiar with the Intel® NUC – fitlet is somewhat similar. Just much smaller, fanless, with more features, and more powerful than NUCs in its price range."

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A weekend spent cheating on Ubuntu with Fedora 22

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Red Hat
Reviews

Fedora is OK . It does all the things that you can do with the other distros no less and no more. One should never consider switching from say Centos to Fedora, but if you insist you can get all the three versions of Fedora here. I can promise you though, that the whole experience can be kind of underwhelming.

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Underrated Android: Asus ZenFone 2 An Impressive Unlocked Flagship Device At Budget Pricing

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Android
Reviews

The subsidized smartphone market is sort of a racket. Well, Okay, it’s not sort of a racket. It’s definitely a racket. Every time your phone starts feeling old or worn out, or if you’re jonesing for the latest superphone bling, most mainstream consumers have to consider dealing with their carrier’s “new every two” plan or some other scheme to lock you into a long term contract. So you’re stuck with potentially lousy coverage if you move or travel a lot to a new area, or if that carrier isn’t keeping up with competitive rates. It’s a catch-22 of course. How else are carriers going to offer reasonable prices on the latest premium smartphones, but to rope you in and make up the profit on service fees?

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Red Hat News

Leftovers: OSS

  • Open Source rising as Cloud Computing, Analytics take off – Study
    Open source software has become a critical driver for innovation at leading companies and public-sector organizations around the world, according to a new research report produced by Oxford Economics in partnership with Wipro Limited. The report, The Open Source Era, also shows that open source software is essential to the use of other cutting-edge technologies and that open source methodologies have spread far beyond software development.
  • Check out this open source programming typeface entirely generated by code
    Typefaces designed for programmers aren’t a new idea, but I’m particularly taken with Iosevka, a monospace coding typeface that’s completely generated using Node.js. The project – which is inspired by existing coding typefaces Pragmata Pro, M+ and PF DIN Mono – aims to produce characters that “have a narrow shape to be space efficient and compatible to Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters.”
  • Capital One Launches Hygieia Open-Source DevOps Dashboard
    The bank launched its Hygieia DevOps dashboard at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) last week in Portland, Ore. The Capital One Agile development teams all use the technology.
  • New Portal For IBM Open Source Projects
    IBM has just launched developerWorksOpen to enable developers to collaborate using its open sourced technologies. It is poised to provide new tools, in particular with regards to mobile.
  • Open Source IFTTT Collection Introduced
    IFTTT (If This Then That) has this month introduced a new collection of new open source projects as well as updating existing ones.
  • Roadies vs. rock stars: The art of open leadership
    Allen Gunn is a facilitator, open source technologist and Executive Director of Aspiration, where he helps NGOs, activists, and software developers make smarter use of tech for social change. Later this month, Aspiration is partnering with Greenpeace's Mobilisation Lab to host the first-ever Open Campaigns Camp in Berlin. We recently got together to chat about working open and the leadership required to make it work.
  • How to get designers involved in your software project
    Kravets showed us a report she found. It reviewed 23,493 GitHub projects and found that 75.3% had no gender diversity at all. This brought Kravets to the following quote from Malcolm Gladwell: "The world that we could have is much richer than the world we've settled for."
  • The right way to fail
    In the open source industry, we often hear that we should fail quickly and often, but that doesn't make failure any less scary. Failure seems like a personal problem, but it's really a corporate problem. We use the phrase "failure is not an option," and people are so proud to live by it. The fact of the matter, said Scavarda and Hawthorn, is that this statement should say "failure is not an option; it is a requirement." The truth is that it's not a matter of whether we will fail, but when we will fail and what will be our timeline for our recovery.
  • The Dronecode Foundation aims to keep UAVs open
    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles' (UAV) applications and capabilities are advancing at a phenomenal rate, and the cost of these systems is decreasing at an equally impressive rate largely because of the open source. In many cases, open source projects are outpacing the development of their equivalent closed source systems.
  • phpMyAdmin Bids SourceForge Farewell
    phpMyAdmin, the popular free and open source web based tool for administering MySQL databases, has left the SourceForge building. In a blog post on Saturday, the project’s infrastructure coordinator, Michal Čihař, announced that a migration from Sourceforge is all but complete. The few remaining items left on the SourceForge server will be “hopefully handled in upcoming days as well.”
  • Boundless: Commercial open source geospatial software
    Boundless’ global customer base uses the OpenGeo Suite, a complete open source geospatial web services stack, to deploy solutions for web mapping, transportation, telecommunications, open government, and a diverse range of other solutions. The OpenGeo Suite provides a continually updated geo web services platform along with maintenance agreements that include support and training to support the growing functionality of continually enhanced open source geospatial software.
  • Seven Key Milestones in OpenStack's Five-Year History
    On July 19, 2010, Chris Kemp, at the time NASA's CTO for IT, went on stage at the OSCON open-source conference to announce OpenStack, a new open-source effort along with Rackspace. Five years later, OpenStack has emerged as one of the leading cloud platforms governments and big-name companies around the world use. Best Buy and Walmart are among the major retailers that use OpenStack while major carriers, such as Comcast and AT&T, are also users and contributors. One of the biggest drivers of OpenStack's growth in the last five years was the formation of the OpenStack Foundation, a vendor-neutral, multi-stakeholder effort to help build and promote the OpenStack platform. While OpenStack in 2010 was made up of two companies, the OpenStack Foundation in 2015 numbers well over 100 members. Another key driver of OpenStack's growth is continued technical innovation. In 2010, the OpenStack Platform started with just two projects: the Nova Compute Project and the Swift Storage Project. Over the years, multiple additional projects were added, including Glance image, Horizon dashboard, Neutron network and Keystone identity. Here's a look at key milestones in OpenStack's five-year history.
  • A new center for innovation, celebrating five years, and more OpenStack news
  • Q&A: Pepperdata's Chad Carson Discusses Getting Much More Out of Hadoop
    In the data analytics and Hadoop arena, the folks at Pepperdata have an interesting story to tell. Pepperdata's cofounders ran the web search engineering team at Yahoo during the development of the first production use of Hadoop and created Pepperdata with the mission of providing a simple way of prioritizing Hadoop jobs to give resources to the ones that need them most, while ensuring that a company adheres to its SLAs.
  • cps soup
    In the olden days, Guile had no compiler, just an interpreter written in C. Around 8 years ago now, we ported Guile to compile to bytecode. That bytecode is what is currently deployed as Guile 2.0. For many reasons we wanted to upgrade our compiler and virtual machine for Guile 2.2, and the result of that was a new continuation-passing-style compiler for Guile. Check that link for all the backstory.
  • Docker 1.8 Linux Container Engine to Bring Better LXC and Fedora 22 Support, More
    The developers of the famous open-source Docker Linux container engine have recently announced that the first RC (Release Candidate) version of the anticipated Docker 1.8 app is now available for download and testing.
  • Docker Engine 1.8.0-rc1

Security Leftovers

  • Unhinged Linux backdoor still poses a nuisance, if not a threat
    If successfully planted, the malware tries to register itself in the system as a daemon (system service). Thereafter it uses LZO compression and the Blowfish encryption algorithm to chat to command and control servers. Every packet contains a checksum, so that the recipient could verify data integrity.
  • Researchers analyze faulty new Linux backdoor
  • Seven things security experts do to keep safe online
    Cybersecurity experts aren’t like you or I, and now we have the evidence to prove it. Researchers at Google interviewed more than 200 experts to find out what security practices they actually carry out online, and then spoke to almost 300 non-experts to find out how they differ.
  • Why Chrysler's car hack 'fix' is staggeringly stupid
    More than a million Chrysler vehicles, including Jeeps, Ram pickups, and Dodge vehicles, are vulnerable to a major vulnerability that could drive them -- literally -- off the road. Last week, the company recalled 1.4 million vehicles at risk of a remote hijack vulnerability, which, as detailed by Wired, can result in a hacker remotely operating the brakes, interfering with the driver's visibility by switching on the windshield wipers, and even shutting off the engine.
  • The Elderly & the Scam Masters
    Jane answered the phone and a pleasant young man identified himself as an internet technician with Microsoft. He told her they’d received a report that something was extremely wrong with their computers and he was calling to help. [...] From here it gets crazy. There was a $200 payment made to this “tech expert” and then he calls back and says that payment wasn’t necessary. In fact, an error was made and a draft of $2,000 had been made and not $200. He needed to take his $1,800 back. Of course, the “bank statement” Jane looked at did indeed show $2,000 instead of $200, so Jane was being asked to refund the $1,800.
  • We Can Put An End To Identity Theft
  • Darkode Hacking Forum Taken Down by FBI and Europol
    In a joint operation that included law enforcement agencies from 20 countries, the infamous Darkode hacking forum has been taken down.
  • ​Stagefright: Just how scary is it for Android users?
    To do this with Android Kitkat, the most popular Android version, you open the Messenger app and tap on the menu at the top right corner of the screen (the three vertical dots) and then tap on Settings. Once there, select Block Unknown Senders, and you're done.
  • Bin your Android phone: 1 BILLION mobes can be infected by text message
    (There are a couple of workarounds: one is to root your Android mobile and disable Stagefright. Another is to remove or disable Google Hangouts, the default messaging app on Android, which processes video messages automatically. Even without Hangouts, if you receive a booby-trapped MMS and accidentally view it, you'll still be infected. Finally, you could tweak your carrier settings to not receive MMS texts.)
  • 950 million Android phones can be hijacked by malicious text messages
    Interestingly, the Stagefright vulnerability also affects Firefox on all platforms except Linux, and that includes the Firefox OS. Firefox developers have patched the vulnerability in versions 38 and up.
  • Researchers have found a new texting vulnerability in Android

LibreOffice 5.0 to Bring Better Support for Special Scientific Formats

The fourth Release Candidate for LibreOffice 5.0 has been released by The Document Foundation and it looks like the development cycle is coming to an end. Read more