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Reviews

MakuluLinux 6 Cinnamon Distro Is a Great White Shark – Gallery

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MakuluLinux 6 Cinnamon, a Linux distribution based on the Debian testing branch, Jessie, that provides stability, speed, and a modern desktop, has been upgraded to version 2.0 and is now ready for download.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" KDE Review: The Best KDE spin I have used!

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If you are looking for a trouble free KDE distro for long term use, look no further than Linux Mint. The Linux Mint 17.1 KDE is perhaps the best KDE distro I've used in quite sometime. Though it presents the stock KDE DE but it irons out a lot of bugs and presents a really stable, smooth to use and super efficient distro. The RAM and CPU consumption is one of the lowest I have noted among KDE spins, the boot time is decent and the battery life is simply the best among Linux operating systems. It symbolizes the amazing work done by the developers before releasing a distro. I wish all other distros were like Linux Mint.

So, by now you have understood that Mint 17.1 KDE is definitely recommended from my side for all users looking for a good KDE distro devoid of bloat and is very efficient. I go with the highest score I ever gave to a KDE distro for Linux Mint 17.1 KDE.

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Manjaro 0.8.11 - The lonely goatherd

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How shall I put it? Let there be no doubt. Manjaro 0.8.11 is a better version than 0.8.5 that I tested a while back. But calling it the best and most awesomest KDE around, as I've seen here and there in various forums and social media sites is literally pushing it. Now, it does deserve a lot of praise, A LOT, regarding its visual appearance. However, that is not enough to distract from or reduce the impact of the underlying system bugs.

Desktop effects, printing, broken Steam packages, weird menu entries, misbehaving media player, an identity-confused collection of software, installation issues, missing swap use and very high memory consumption, all of these are big problems that the Manjaro dev team needs to address. But overall, the important thing here is progress.

But if you're asking me, the distro needs to simplify its mission statement, and focus on the core message of practicality. Hopefully, we will see that happen soon. Let's call it the emergence of Manjaro into its own rightful place. At the moment, it's trying to do so much, at the same time, it's like a juggler with one ball too many. Grade wise? Hmmm, well, something like 7.5-8/10, and I am being generous. However, if all else fails, it so damn beautiful. Definitely one of the top three. Imagine Plasma 5 there. Looking forward to the next version.

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AntiX MX-14.3 review

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One of the things you can count on in the Linux community is love and understanding from the wider audience, especially if you write a less favorable review of a distribution favored by a particular segment of the community. The smaller they get the fiercer the response. Most people would decide the flak was not worth their time, file relevant distributions under the ignore label, and move on to friendlier crowds.

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MakuluLinux Xfce 7.0

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Once in a while I run into a Linux distribution that surprises me in terms of how much I enjoy using it. MakuluLinux is definitely one of those distros. I found an article about it when I was doing my usual news roundup article for my blog Eye On Open on ITworld. I was intrigued enough to want to do a full review here on Desktop Linux Reviews.

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Fedora 21 review: Linux’s sprawliest distro finds a new focus

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Like most Linux distros, Fedora is a massive, sprawling project. Frankly, it's sprawl-y to the point that it has felt unfocused and a bit lost at times. Just what is Fedora? The distro has served as a kind of showcase for GNOME 3 ever since GNOME 3 hit the beta stage. So Fedora in theory is meant to target everyday users, but at the same time the project pours tremendous energy into building developer tools like DevAssistant. Does that make Fedora a developer distro? A newbie-friendly GNOME showcase? A server distro? An obscure robotics distro?

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Review: Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Xfce

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Recently, the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" was released. It and the MATE edition are notable in featuring...Compiz! This really caught my eye, so I wanted to review it. There are several other changes too, so I figured that it would be worthwhile to review the Xfce edition rather than the MATE edition, given that I already tried the MATE edition of Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" not too long ago. Note that Ubuntu-based Linux Mint is sticking only to LTS releases, so a major release will roughly coincide (lagging by a month or so) with the Ubuntu LTS release, and then decimal point releases will be put out every 6 months or so and be given a new code name while still sticking with the last LTS release as its base. As far as this review goes, I tried this as usual as a live USB system made with UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

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Satechi Smart TV Box review: Android-based set-top box does a lot, but doesn't make it easy

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Every streaming device, from your aging Blu-ray player to your Roku, has limitations. At some point, you’re going to want to stream a service that your device doesn’t support. When that happens, your only big-screen option is to plug a laptop, tablet, or smartphone into your HDTV. That way, you get a real operating system with complete flexibility.

But that’s a hassle. These devices aren’t designed to be controlled from across a room. And even when they have remote controls, they’re usually not that good.

The Satechi Smart TV Box offers a way around this. It’s a streaming device, designed specifically for plugging into your TV and controlling from across the room. But it runs Android. If your Android phone or tablet can do it, the Smart TV Box can probably do it, too.

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Red Hat and Fedora

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Learn from the Experts at The Linux Foundation’s Europe Events
    The Linux Foundation has released session details for three major conferences coming up this fall: MesosCon Europe, Embedded Linux Conference / OpenIoT Summit Europe, and LinuxCon + ContainerCon Europe. MesosCon Europe, which will take place August 31-September 1 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is an annual conference organized by the Apache Mesos community, bringing together users and developers for two days of sessions about Mesos and related technologies. This year, the MesosCon program will include workshops to get started with Mesos, keynote speakers from industry leaders, and sessions led by adopters and contributors.
  • The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
    Firebird distills its identity into the phrase "True universal open-source database" and boasts not only of being "free like free beer" but also, fittingly, of being "free like a bird". The latter permits anyone to build a custom version of the Firebird, as long as the modifications are made available for others to use and build upon.
  • Report: Austria can benefit from Big Data solutions
    Big Data solutions can contribute significantly to Austrian public administrations, a working group concludes in a report published in June. Benefits include improved quality of life, finding optimal business locations, and offering better guidance to citizens. The report by the Big Data working group aims to help public administration when considering Big Data solutions, providing legal, economic and technical context.
  • Report: over half of Spain’s regions now use SaaS
    In 2014, 59% of Spain’s regional governments used Software as a Service, according to the 2015 eGovernment report published on 30 June by PAe, Spain’s eGovernment portal. Next most-used cloud computing service is Infrastructure as a Service (40%), and third is Platform as a Service (20%). The usage of cloud computing is just one of the attributes of and indicators for eGovernment services that are aggregated in the report. The document shows the use of document management systems and support of electronic signatures. The text looks at interoperability, open data portals and eParticipation, lists region’s maturity levels of eGovernment services, from the availability to download forms online to the fully electronic management of applications.
  • Software Freedom in Kosovo, Waiting for Xfce Mint & More…
    It’s not FOSS, but I reckon the biggest story in tech this week, ignoring claims of Russia hacking for Trump, is the sale of Yahoo to Verizon for $4.8 billion. Considering that traffic watcher Alexa says the site is the fifth most visited address on the web, that seems like something of a bargain to me. Add to that Yahoo’s prime Silicon Valley real estate and the price seems to be in the “it fell of the truck” category. The sale puts Verizon in control of both America Online and Yahoo, so I suspect we’ll be seeing Verizon trying to compete with Google and Bing for a share of the search advertising market. [...] We’ve also heard from Software Freedom Kosova, which tells us it’s issued this year’s call for speakers, which will be open through September 15. This will be the seventh year for the Kosovo event, which aims to “promote free/libre open source software, free culture and open knowledge” — all laudable goals in my estimation. Potential speakers should know “the topic must be related to free software and hardware, open knowledge and culture.” Mike DuPont, the SFK member who made us aware of the event, told FOSS Force, “There might be travel expenses for qualified speakers.” The event will take place October 21-23.
  • Cloud, open source and DevOps: Technology at the GLA
    David Munn, head of IT at the Greater London Authority, explains what technology his organisation has adopted in order to help individuals keep innovating
  • Our attitude towards wealth played a crucial role in Brexit. We need a rethink
    Money was a key factor in the outcome of the EU referendum. We will now have to learn to collaborate and to share [...] Does money matter? Does wealth make us rich any more? These might seem like odd questions for a physicist to try to answer, but Britain’s referendum decision is a reminder that everything is connected and that if we wish to understand the fundamental nature of the universe, we’d be very foolish to ignore the role that wealth does and doesn’t play in our society.
  • France’s Insee and Drees publish microsimulation model to increase transparency
    Insee (Institut national de la statistique), the French public agency for statistics, and Drees (Direction des études du Ministère des Affaires sociales et de la santé), which is in charge of surveys at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, has published the source code of the microsimulation algorithmic model called Ines.
  • Plant Sciences pushing open-source berry model
    Several of those opportunities appear to lie in the development of so-called ‘open market’ breeding. Historically, Plant Sciences’ berry varieties have made it into the commercial arena under limited licensing arrangements, with individuals or groups of grower-shippers paying a premium to use them. While Nelson is eager to point out that this model continues to perform well, his company have decided to structure its business in Europe in such a way that it offers varieties to the “largest audience possible” at the most competitive price. “Given the price pressures that producers, marketers and retailers are under, we sense that such an approach is needed to remain most viable going forward and bring new varieties forward to the broadest market,” he explained.
  • Drug discovery test leads to malaria drug prospects at UW
  • Worldwide Open-Source Project Discovers Promising Disease-Fighting Compounds
  • Open-source drug discovery a success
  • The Global Open Data Index to be updated
    Open Knowledge International, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes openness and transparency, has decided to update the survey for its Global Open Data Index. This index measures Open Data publication in 122 countries.
  • This Startup Created the Ultimate Open-Source Prototyping Product
    The world has become a technologically focused place. Unless you’ve set up shop in a cabin in the woods, your life is likely filled with gadgets, wearables, devices, and doodads that control everything from your TV to your laptop. And with all this technology, it’s no wonder tech jobs have become so prevalent in the market. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to learn skills and prototyping projects that will impress even the most critical interviewer. And one startup has built the perfect product to do just that. Created by a group of students from the India Institute of Technology, evive is an open-source prototyping module that can make creating projects easier than ever. It has a power module, plug and play hardware interface, user interface, data acquisition module, shield stack space and more. It’s even IoT ready so it can connect to more devices than you can count. Plus, it works across multiple platforms like LabVIEW, MATLAB, Scratch, Eclipse, ROS, Python, Arduino IDE and many more.
  • Friday's security updates
  • Pwnie Express Open Sources Tools to Lock Down IoT/Android Security
    Pwnie Express isn't a name that everyone is familiar with, but in the security arena the company has a good reputation for its wired and wireless threat detection technologies. Now, the Boston-based firm has announced plans to open source key tools that it has used to secure the Internet of Things (IoT) and Android software. Blue Hydra is a Bluetooth utility that can detect Bluetooth devices, and also work as a sniffer to query devices it detects for threats. Meanwhile, the Android Open Pwn Project (AOPP), is an Android ROM built for security testers. It's based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and community-developed ROMS -- one of which is CyanogenMod. It lets developers on the Android front sniff out threats on mobile platforms.

Openwashing

Sailfish OS 2.0.2

  • Sailfish OS 2.0.2 In Early Access With Variety Of Improvements
    Jolla announced today that their Sailfish OS 2.0.2 "Aurajoki" mobile operating system release is available as early access. Sailfish OS 2.0.2 makes it easier to take screenshots via the volume buttons, a variety of new keyboard layouts, a new layout on the media app, a new Sailfish OS logo, simplified backups, browser improvements, support for flash when recording videos, the cloud services now supports the VK service, dual SIM support on capable devices, Dropbox and OneDrive integration in the photo gallery, and a wide variety of other fixes and improvements.
  • [Early Access] Sailfish OS 2.0.2 Aurajoki
    This update contains of many bug fixes and new added features such as taking screenshot by holding down volume buttons for 0.5 seconds, added keyboard layouts for Indian languages Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Tamil and Bengali, new layout on Media app’s front page, new Sailfish OS logo and many more.