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Reviews

Plasma 5 — a review

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KDE
Reviews

I have been using opensuse Leap 42.1 on my main desktop for a little over a week. So I now have a better feel for Plasma 5, than I had from periodic testing. So it’s time for me to give my opinion on Plasma 5.

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Purism's Librem 13 Linux Laptop Is Sleek, Private and Secure

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Linux
Reviews

Purism began shipping the Librem 13 laptop last month. The Librem 15 started shipping this month November. Both laptops run a specially developed Linux OS with a kernel free of non-free software components.

That homegrown refined Linux OS, dubbed PureOS, is designed to address user concerns about identity theft, Internet privacy, security and digital rights. It is the first high-end Linux laptop built on tailor-made hardware to ensure privacy and compliance with the Free Software Foundation's endorsement, according to Todd Weaver, CEO of Purism Computer.

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BlackBerry Priv review: Android fixes the OS, but the hardware can’t compete

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Android
Reviews

From BlackBerry's perspective, the company is in way better shape with the Priv than it was with any of its BB10 devices. It can't stand up to the competitive Android smartphone market, but it is at least a livable smartphone that you could make do with. Maybe BlackBerry will convince some enterprise customers to buy a few Privs for their business, but for normal consumers, there is nothing compelling here. The Nexus 6P has better specs, a better camera, an aluminum body, and stock Android with updates direct from Google. It's also $200 less than the Priv. There is still no reason to buy a BlackBerry.

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Android Wear Review: 4G-Support FINALLY Confirmed

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Android
Reviews

Many were hoping that Android Wear would signal the true start of the smartwatch revolution, and while Google's effort is easily the best we've seen so far in this particular field, there are issues that could prevent it from catching on in the way some have predicted.

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Fedora 23 (GNOME) Review: Well, it’s Little Complicated

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GNOME
Reviews

Fedora 23 arrived a week later than originally planned, just like Fedora 22. While there are couple of Fedora spins, featuring popular desktop environments, for the past couple of days, I’ve been using the main release which is based on GNOME Shell (3.18).

It’s true that GNOME 3.18 comes with many subtle refinements and features, but one of these features (a major one unfortunately) looked confusing to me, just like I find it difficult to cope with the default desktop layout of GNOME3, which is why I only use the ‘Classic Desktop Session’ as it resembles the old GNOME2 desktop (well, to a certain degree). Fedora 22 also had let go of one majorly useful utility (systemd’s ‘readahead’ component) and unfortunately, Fedora 23 too comes without it.

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Also: Schedule of Fedora 24 published

Rolling and tumbling

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

Recently I realized that it has been over 5 years I’ve been using Arch Linux continuously, one one or two of my computers. I have been using it in professional environment on my laptop and my workstation; I have been using it as a “home entertainment platform”, as it were, and as a family computer. This makes Arch Linux the distribution I’ve been using the most and for the longest period of time. Only Debian comes close with four years. I have also used Fedora, OpenSuse, Mandriva (OpenMandriva, Mageia and Mandrake/driva Linux as well), Ubuntu, Elementary, and I’ve tested several others, from the rather exotic ones to the most common distros.

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Reviewing Ubuntu 15.10, Fedora 23, and openSUSE Leap 42.1...at the same time!

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Reviews

So, instead of writing a review of each of these new releases, I am simply writing one article comparing all three of them as desktop workstations (I won't be reviewing them as servers in this article). A battle royale. A no-holds-barred cage match. A Linux Distro Thunderdome. Or a friendly tea amongst three friends. Call it what you will…it means I only need to write one article instead of three. So I like the idea.

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openSUSE Leap 42.1 Review: The Most Mature Linux Distribution

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Reviews
SUSE

What makes this release even more important is that with Leap, SUSE and openSUSE have finally come together. With this release openSUSE will start using the same code which is being used in SLE. So technically you are running the 'community' version of SLE.

Leap 42.1 is based on the Service Pack 1 (SP1) of SLE 12, which will be released soon. Leap will follow SLE’s release cycle so there won’t be the regular 9-month release, instead a new version of openSUSE Leap will be released when the new version of SLE is due.

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Android Wear Review: Coming Along Nicely...

Filed under
Android
Reviews

Many were hoping that Android Wear would signal the true start of the smartwatch revolution, and while Google's effort is easily the best we've seen so far in this particular field, there are issues that could prevent it from catching on in the way some have predicted.

The reliance on voice commands is arguably the biggest sticking point. Despite the hype behind products such as Google Now, Siri and Cortana, very few people feel comfortable using speech to control their phones when in public – and it often doesn't take that much longer to access the information you need using your touchscreen anyway.

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Chalet OS: good idea, bad design

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

Let me introduce you to Chalet OS. The web site of this operating system says that their main target audience is fresh Linux converts who come to the Linux world from other operating systems. Isn't it the same audience that Zorin OS is aiming at? I was baffled and intrigued!

The latest version of the Chalet OS distribution has the number 14.04.3, which gives us a proper clue that Chalet OS is actually another offspring in the Ubuntu family. This version was released in August 2015.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • Comment: Many happy returns to open source
    Twenty years ago the phrase “open source” was first used and the development of software – and hardware – was changed forever. Very few designers today will not use some element of open source software in their development projects.
  • Percona Unveils Full Conference Session Schedule for the Annual Percona Live Open Source Database Conference 2018
  • Worth seeing in Barcelona: Open source for white box vRAN solutions
    News this week from cloud and carrier infrastructure platform company Kontron builds on our earlier coverage of the emerging virtual radio access network (vRAN); a promising technology that could help the evolution to 5G by maximising available bandwidth while lowering costs. The market for open vRAN solutions is gaining wider acceptance as operators seek more cost-effective approaches to network architectures and deployment. According to analyst firm Research and Markets, the growth of the vRAN market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 125 per cent during the next three years.
  • Barcelona is the first city council to join the FSFE's "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign
  • Earlham Institute releases open source software to help identify gene families
    Researchers at Earlham Institute (EI) have released ‘GeneSeqToFamily’, an open-source Galaxy workflow that helps scientists to find gene families based on the ‘EnsemblCompara GeneTrees’ pipeline. Published in Gigascience, the open source Galaxy workflow aims to make researchers job of finding find gene families much easier.
  • 3 reasons to say 'no' in DevOps
    DevOps, it has often been pointed out, is a culture that emphasizes mutual respect, cooperation, continual improvement, and aligning responsibility with authority. Instead of saying no, it may be helpful to take a hint from improv comedy and say, "Yes, and..." or "Yes, but...". This opens the request from the binary nature of "yes" and "no" toward having a nuanced discussion around priority, capacity, and responsibility.
  • 5 rules for having genuine community relationships
    As I wrote in the first article of this three-part series on the power and importance of communities, building a community of passionate and committed members is difficult. When we launched the NethServer community, we realized early that to play the open source game, we needed to follow the open source rules. No shortcuts. We realized we had to convert the company in an open organization and start to work out in the open.
  •  
  • Rust Typestates
    A long time ago, the Rust language was a language with typestate. Officially, typestates were dropped long before Rust 1.0. In this entry, I’ll get you in on the worst kept secret of the Rust community: Rust still has typestates.
  • It's Time To Do CMake Right
    Not so long ago I got the task of rethinking our build system. The idea was to evaluate existing components, dependencies, but most importantly, to establish a superior design by making use of modern CMake features and paradigms. Most people I know would have avoided such enterprise at all costs, but there is something about writing find modules that makes my brain release endorphins. I thought I was up for an amusing ride. Boy was I wrong.

OpenBSD Gets Mitigated For Meltdown CPU Vulnerability

  • OpenBSD Gets Mitigated For Meltdown CPU Vulnerability
    A few days back FreeBSD 11 stable was mitigated for Meltdown (and Spectre vulnerabilities), which came more than one month after these nasty CPU vulnerabilities were disclosed while DragonFlyBSD was quickly mitigated and the first of the BSDs to do so. While OpenBSD is known for its security features and focus, only today did it land its initial Meltdown mitigation.
  • Meltdown fix committed by guenther@

    Meltdown mitigation is coming to OpenBSD. Philip Guenther (guenther@) has just committed a diff that implements a new mitigation technique to OpenBSD: Separation of page tables for kernel and userland. This fixes the Meltdown problems that affect most CPUs from Intel. Both Philip and Mike Larkin (mlarkin@) spent a lot of time implementing this solution, talking to various people from other projects on best approaches.

    In the commit message, Philip briefly describes the implementation [...]

France Proposes Software Security Liability For Manufacturers, Open Source As Support Ends

It sometimes seems as though barely a week can go by without yet another major software-related hardware vulnerability story. As manufacturers grapple with the demands of no longer building simple appliances but instead supplying them containing software that may expose itself to the world over the Internet, we see devices shipped with insecure firmware and little care for its support or updating after the sale. The French government have a proposal to address this problem that may be of interest to our community, to make manufacturers liable for the security of a product while it is on the market, and with the possibility of requiring its software to be made open-source at end-of-life. In the first instance it can only be a good thing for device security to be put at the top of a manufacturer’s agenda, and in the second the ready availability of source code would present reverse engineers with a bonanza. Read more

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