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Reviews

Elementary OS: A good looking cheap Apple lookalike

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So after spending the not-so-bad-after all-valentine watching “romantic” movies I decided to go on a cleanse and get back in my geek groove. What better way to do this than testing a Linux Distro Beta? So I remembered how one reader once requested a review of Apple lookalike Linux distros and decided to take the latest Beta of Elementary OS nicknamed Freya which is due for release “when it is ready!”

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Task Coach 1.4.2 Released, Install In Ubuntu/Linux Mint To Organize Tasks

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HowTos


task coach 1.4.2 install in linux

Do you struggle managing your tasks? Don't remember what and when to do it? Then, Task Coach is for you.Task Coach is free, cross-platform and open source to-do list manager that can manage your simple and complex tasks easily. With features like, breaking bigtasks into small ones make completing tasks much better and easier.
 

Read at LinuxAndUbuntu

Netrunner 15 “Prometheus” Officially Released with KDE Plasma 5.2 - Screenshot Tour

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Clemens Toennies from the Netrunner project had the pleasure of announcing earlier today, February 16, the immediate availability for download of the Netrunner 15 computer operating system, dubbed Prometheus, based on the Kubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) distribution and built around the KDE Plasma 5.2 desktop environment.

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CuBox-i review – an elegant mini PC which runs Android, Linux and OpenELEC

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Linux
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The CuBox-i is certainly an interesting mini PC. It offers a lot of flexibility since its support for Android and Linux is excellent, and it excels at running Kodi.
One of the most important commercial uses of a Single Board Computer (SBC) is as a prototyping and rapid development platform. Recently I reviewed the HummingBoard-i2eX, a SBC from SolidRun that is compatible with Android and Linux. Since the proof is in the pudding, SolidRun has used its own tech to create a truly miniature PC.

At just 2 inches x 2 inches x 2 inches (50.8 mm x 50.8 mm x 50.8 mm) the CuBox is a marvel of engineering. On one side of the cube is a set of ports including the power socket, HDMI, Ethernet and two USB ports. While the rest of the cube is fairly bland except for various labels, logos and LEDs.

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Sony SmartWatch 3 Review: The Best-Performing Android Smartwatch Yet

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Sony’s been trying the smartwatch thing for years, but the original SmartWatch and the SmartWatch 2 both…what’s the word I’m looking for here? Sucked? Yeah. But the SmartWatch 3 has solid performance and two nifty features you won’t find on any other Android Wear. It’s the first with built-in GPS and a screen you can read without backlighting.

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Three Things That Annoy Me With Using GNOME 3

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GNOME
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At the beginning of this month I wrote how I switched back to Fedora Linux on my main system to replace Ubuntu and also wrote about changes I made when installing Fedora 21 on my main system, a new ThinkPad ultrabook with Broadwell processor. There's three small things that annoy me the most though about using GNOME 3.x.

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Some Linux distributions never change

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In comparison, the set-up of Arch Linux was a breeze and extremely fast once the hard drive partionning was figured out. I got a laptop that does not isn’t UEFI enabled so I had more choices and did not have to go through the rather complex tools such as parted or gdisk. I got to use cfdisk which I have relied on for several years.

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OpenPi review – a Pi of Things

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Linux
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The OpenPi on first look is a curious device – a nondescript black box with merely an HDMI and a microUSB slot. There’s no real indication of what it might be, however cracking it open reveals a custom board connected to a Raspberry Pi compute module. Inside as standard is a wireless dongle and a bluetooth receiver for a mini-wireless keyboard/mouse combo. It seems quite simple, and to be fair in this state it is – it’s basically just a (fully-functioning) Raspberry Pi.

That’s actually the point of it though. With the compute module and the OpenPi board, you have full access to the usual Raspberry Pi power and settings and such. The selling point of the OpenPi though is that you can then take this board – which is completely open hardware – and modify the plans yourself to make a custom board that fits your needs. Wireless Things thinks of it as an easier way to create an internet of things, and they’ve succeeded in creating the platform to do this really.

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5 Reasons To Use Linux Mint And Not Ubuntu

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Ubuntu

On the surface there isn't much difference between Linux Mint and Ubuntu as Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu (except for Linux Mint Debian Edition) and apart from the desktop environment and default applications there isn't really a difference.

In this article I am going to list 5 reasons why you would choose Linux Mint over Ubuntu. Now I am well aware that Ubuntu users are going to come back and say that there are loads of reasons to use Ubuntu over Linux Mint and so the counterargument to this list will be made available later in the week.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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today's leftovers

  • My Experiences Converting Users To GNU/Linux
    My wife, TLW, runs GNU/Linux with few problems. She uses a tablet, an Odroid-C2 ARMed thick client, and a big notebook all running Debian GNU/Linux or Ubuntu and her Android/Linux smartphone and her scanner and printer all deal with Beast, my GNU/Linux server. I have her file-system plugged in via NFS so she can do IT in bed, in front of the TV, on TV, or in her office and all her thousands of pictures, documents, scans etc. are all in the same place. She doesn’t even have much problem using Ubuntu or XFCE4 on Debian because she mostly uses the same applications all day long. It just works for her and memories of That Other Operating System are fading. She was locked to a single thick client with limited capabilities in those Dark Days. She had repeated crashes and malware. Today, her issues with IT are things like changing the name of a file on the FTP server or how to scan a light image or…, real problems, not problems M$ causes billions of people every day.
  • Shame on Microsoft for Leaving Surface Pro Customers in the Dark
    When Microsoft came out with its first batch of Surface tablets a few years ago, the company took a bath on them. It didn't help that they were conceived around the unpopular Windows 8 and the now-defunct Windows RT and that the prospects for the OS were in question. After Microsoft wrote off $900 million on its money-losing Surface business, the deathwatch was on. But the Intel-based Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 showed a glimmer of hope, and Microsoft finally delivered a solid hit with the Surface Pro 3. After that water­shed release, the Surface division is now an important business that brings in more than $1 billion revenue per quarter. Yet Microsoft isn't showing much appreciation toward the customers who helped put its Surface business on solid footing.
  • A quick introduction to Audacity for teachers
  • SX 2.2 RELEASE
    Skylable is proud to announce immediate availability of SX 2.2. The new release provides a significant performance boost by improving calculation, index usage and maintaining cache of frequently computed values, as well as performing background propagation of all replicas above 1 by default. Additionally, sxfs now enables caching of smaller objects for improved latency. The source code and binary packages are available for download now. SX 2.2 is backward compatible with previous 2.x releases, and all you need to do is to run sxsetup –upgrade on every node after updating it!
  • 3 Awesome Themes For Plank, The Linux Dock App
    Plenty of people use the desktop dock Plank on their Linux desktop — and for good reason. Plank is a nimble, customisable desktop dock for Linux desktops.
  • hackmud, a cyberpunk themed text-based hacking simulator is now out with Linux support
    The game is listed as Single-player and Multi-player, so it's not entirely clear what type of game it is. As it also claims it's an MMO. I think the developer needs to make it much clearer exactly what is online and what is offline.
  • Yooka-Laylee has another trailer, featuring Shovel Knight
  • ContractPatch, Step 2: Understanding the power balance
    At the point you are presented with a job offer, your prospective employer really wants to hire you. Chances are, they’ve screened and interviewed a number of candidates and put a lot of work into the process. Your manager has thought deeply about who they want in the position and has probably imagined how it will all work out with you in the role. Both you and the hiring decision-maker(s) are probably very optimistic about what you’ll accomplish in the role and how well you’ll get along working together. At this point, no one wants to go back to the drawing board and start the process over again. You will be excited to start the new job but it’s worth taking a step back to appreciate the unusual position you are in with your new employer.
  • Epiphany Icon Refresh
  • Black Lab Linux 8 Beta 3 Is Out with Full EFI Support, Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    Softpedia was informed today, September 26, 2016, by Black Lab Software's CEO Robert J. Dohnert about the availability of the third Beta development snapshot of the upcoming Black Lab Linux 8 GNU/Linux operating system. Black Lab Linux 8 "Onyx" Beta 3 is here approximately three weeks after the second Beta pre-release and it comes with a major change. It is no longer based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), as the development team decided to switch base and move to the next Ubuntu LTS version, namely Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).
  • DevOps: All Development, No Database
    Since the last time I touched working code in a production environment, it’s no exaggeration to say that no part of the development process remains untouched. Over the last decade plus, effectively every aspect of the application development process has been scrutinized, rethought and in many cases reinvented. From version control to build systems to configuration and deployment to monitoring, modern development’s toolchain is multi-part and sophisticated. As it must be. Processes that work for code released in cycles measured in months cannot be expected to handle workflows measured in days or minutes. For all that the process of developing software has evolved, however, the database remains curiously overlooked. Consider the example of Cloud Native. Describing a modern, typically legacy-free approach to building applications appropriate for cloud environments, the term Cloud Native has gone from informal descriptor to accepted industry shorthand in short order – to the extent that it has its own technical foundation. If we look at the membership of that foundation, the CNCF, it would appear that the roster includes no database vendors at the Platinum or Gold membership levels, at least if you assume Google’s involvement is around Kubernetes and not tools such as BigQuery. Of the 41 silver members, meanwhile, two can be considered database vendors: Crunchy and Treasure Data.

Red Hat Financial News

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • What does it mean to change company culture?
    Tools are specific concrete things that a culture has decided is a way to improve a process. Buckminster Fuller has a great quote about tools and thinking: "If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking." In particular, DevOps tools can provide folks new ways to look at things—like delivering code into a production environment, for example. But there's lots of examples where a new tool doesn't influence the thinking of the people who use it, so things don't change.
  • Why Open Beats Closed
  • Google Improves Image Recognition; Releases Project as Open Source Software
    Google says its algorithm can correctly caption a photograph with nearly 94 percent accuracy. The company says the improvements come in the third version of its system named Inception, with the score coming from a standardized auto-caption test named ImageNet. It reports the first version scored 89.6 percent, the second 91.8 percent and the new one 93.9 percent.
  • Contributing to Open Source Projects Not Just For the Experts
    XDA has long been a proponent of open source development, and we’ve seen it flourish over the years. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons our community has grown as fast as it has over these past 13 years, with Android’s core being the driving force. Many people desire to be part of open source and contribute but often don’t know how they can, whether because they think they lack the skills or they just don’t have the time.
  • Firefox Reader Mode is Finally Getting a Keyboard Shortcut
    Among the changes which arrived in the September release of Firefox 49 were an enhanced set of Reader Mode features, including spoken narration and line-width spacing options. All very welcome. But the improvements aren’t stopping there. Firefox 50, which is due next month, will add another sorely needed feature: a keyboard shortcut for Reader Mode. Y
  • Introduction to OpenStack by Rich Bowen
    In this talk, Rich, the OpenStack Community Liaison at Red Hat, will walk you through what OpenStack is, as a project, as a Foundation, and as a community of organizations.
  • How Microsoft Measures Open Source Success [Ed: Wim Coekaerts got a bigger salary offer from Microsoft than from Oracle so now he’s propagandist/EEE in chief]
  • Public licenses and data: So what to do instead?
    Why you still need a (permissive) license Norms aren’t enough if the underlying legal system might allow an early contributor to later wield the law as a threat. That’s why the best practice in the data space is to use something like the Creative Commons public domain grant (CC-Zero) to set a clear, reliable, permissive baseline, and then use norms to add flexible requirements on top of that. This uses law to provide reliability and predictability, and then uses norms to address concerns about fairness, free-riding, and effectiveness. CC-Zero still isn’t perfect; most notably it has to try to be both a grant and a license to deal with different international rules around grants.
  • NIST Releases New 'Family' of Standardized Genomes
    With the addition of four new reference materials (RMs) to a growing collection of “measuring sticks” for gene sequencing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can now provide laboratories with even more capability to accurately “map” DNA for genetic testing, medical diagnoses and future customized drug therapies. The new tools feature sequenced genes from individuals in two genetically diverse groups, Asians and Ashkenazic Jews; a father-mother-child trio set from Ashkenazic Jews; and four microbes commonly used in research. NIST issued the world’s first genome reference material (NIST RM 8398)—detailing the genetic makeup for a woman with European ancestry—in May 2015. Together, all five RMs serve as a collection of well-characterized, whole genome standards that can tell a laboratory how well its DNA sequencing processes are working by measuring the performance of the equipment, chemistry and data analysis involved.
  • ANSI Seeks Organizations Interested in Serving as U.S. TAG Administrator for ISO Technical Committee on Blockchain and Electronic Distributed Ledger
  • Industrial IoT leaders work towards interoperability and open source collaboration

LLVM News

  • Pairing LLVM JIT With PostgreSQL Can Speed Up Database Performance
    Using the LLVM JIT with PostgreSQL can vastly speed up the query execution performance and shows off much potential but it hasn't been mainlined yet. Dmitry Melnik presented at this month's LLVM Cauldron over speeding up the query execution performance of PostgreSQL by using LLVM. Particularly with complex queries, the CPU becomes the bottleneck for PostgreSQL rather than the disk. LLVM JIT is used for just-in-time compilation of queries.
  • LLVM Cauldron 2016 Videos, Slides Published
    The inaugural LLVM Cauldron conference happened earlier this month ahead of the GNU Tools Cauldron in Hebden Bridge, UK. All of the slides and videos from this latest LLVM conference are now available.