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Mint 18 Xfce Imminent, Gmane.org Shutting Down

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Mint project lead Clement Lefebvre today said that Mint 18 Xfce is "almost ready" but KDE users will have to continue to wait. The second alpha in the Ubuntu 16.10 developmental cycle is available to crash testers as of today in Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE and Ubuntu Kylin flavors only. In other news, the Gmane mailing list archive site is shutting down as the founder has grown weary with the hassles as well as a prolonged DDOS attack. Finally today, Carla Schroder shared her Linux story.

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Bodhi 4 Alpha, More Tor Heads Roll, Wily Werewolf EOL

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Today the Bodhi project announced announced the release of version 4.0.0 Alpha for 64-bit computers only. The final will include support for 32-bit. Elsewhere, Ubuntu 15.10 hit its end of life and the Tor project dismissed two more individuals for inappropriate behavior. Carla Schroder shared some Bash tips for sysadmins and Technews listed commands to avoid.

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Slack 14.2 & Korora 23 Reviewed, Distros for Average Joe

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Jesse Smith reviewed Slackware 14.2 in today's Distrowatch Weekly, saying it was stable as always if a bit dated topping Monday's Linux news. Elsewhere, The Everyday Linux User listed his top five distributions for the "everyday Linux user" and DarkDuck test drove Korora 23 Live. Christine Hall gave Mint 18 a solid meh and OpenBSD kicked Linux to the curb.

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Ubuntu 16.04 Updated, Remembering Mandriva, Leap 42.2a3 Report

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Canonical announced an update to their Ubuntu 16.04 Long Term Support Linux system. Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS brings many updates, bug fixes, and security patches as well as Snap app support. In other news, Christopher Tozzi is back again today with a look back at Mandriva Linux and Neil Rickert test drove openSUSE Leap 42.2 Alpha 3 released yesterday. Elsewhere, after all the hubbub over Linux Skype Alpha, Microsoft has announced it will discontinue the application soon.

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Microsoft Privacy Violations, Fedora: Season's Pick

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Topping today's Linux news is the wrist slapping of Microsoft by French Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés for excessive spying. Back in Linuxland, openSUSE 42.2 Alpha 3 and Mint 18 Xfce Beta were released for early testers. Bruce Byfield compares Linux and Windows users and Dedoimedo found another distribution he likes. VarGuy Christopher Tozzi ran down five Open Source projects that didn't work out and Sam Varghese scolds Linux users for expecting Final quality out of Alpha releases.

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Korora 24 & OpenMandriva 3.0 RC1 Released, Dell XPS 13

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Jim Dean today announced the release of Fedora-based Korora 24, following just one day after their EOL announcement for version 22. Kate Lebedeff announced the release of OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 RC1 today with Linux 4.6.4, Xorg 1.18.3, and KDE 5.6.5. Two reviews of the 2016 Dell XPS 13 landed today praising the newest Ubuntu laptop and Sandra Henry-Stocker continued celebrating Linux' 25th birthday with a fairly tough quiz.

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Mageia 6 Wallpaper, OpenMandriva 3 RC, Desktop Blunders

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Today in Linux news the Mageia project announced the winner of their artwork contest for upcoming version 6 as well as some of the other being included. OpenMandriva 3.0 Release Candidate 1 is available for download although the project has yet to announce it and Korora 22 is nearing the end of support. Matt Hartley identified the top six Linux desktop blunders and several Linux reviews caught my eye today.

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GIMP 2.8.18 Released, Mint 18 Upgrade, Leap 42.2 Tidbits

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After yesterday's 2.9.4 release, Wilbur today announced GIMP 2.8.18. This stable release addresses security and other bugs since 2.8.16. In other news the Mint project announced their 17.3 to 18 upgrade procedure and Douglas DeMaio reported on the latest changes to Tumbleweed.

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You & Linux, Small Business Distros, FreeDOS

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The Linux Voice asked readers today, "How did you discover Linux?" Many of the comments are from those who started in the mid 1990's or earlier. ComputerWorld featured an interview with Jim Hall who's been spearheading the project to keep FreeDOS alive and TechRadar recommended the best distributions for small business. Elsewhere, the next Slackware will use UTF-8 by default and Dedoimedo said, "Linux is slowly killing itself."

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Mint a Pity, 4 Pure OS Distros, 32-bit Alternatives

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Mint 18 is batting about .500 with the latest reviewer not exactly pleased. makeuseof.com posted of four distributions that are completely Open Source and Matt Hartley compiled a list of 32-bit Ubuntu alternatives. Neil Rickert posted some more notes on Slackware 14.2 and I'll add my own as well.

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Security Leftovers

  • Atom Installer
    One thing that I miss about using Ubuntu is PPA’s there are lot’s of PPA in Ubuntu and you can hack around and install all types of software which are required for your usage. In the Fedora side of the world there are copr repos but they don’t have as many repos as in Ubuntu and you can’t build non-free software (don’t get me wrong here, I love FREEdom software but couldn’t resist not using some beautiful non-free applications such as Sublime). I am creating a work around for this by using shell scripts which are open source (cc0) but when those scripts are executed they install non-free software on your system.
  • MKVToolNix 9.9.0 MKV Manipulation Tool Released with New GUI Improvements, More
    MKVToolNix developer Moritz Bunkus announced today, February 20, 2017, the release and general availability of MKVToolNix 9.9.0 "Pick Up" for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. MKVToolNix 9.9.0 represents a month of hard work, during which the developer managed to add a bunch of new and interesting features, fix as many bugs reported by users since last month's MKVToolNix 9.8.0 point release, as well as to improve the build system, especially in regards to the man pages of the software.
  • Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.9.2 and KDE Applications 16.12.2, More
    The developers behind the Chakra GNU/Linux operating system have announced today the immediate availability of all the latest KDE technologies released this month in the stable repositories of the distribution. Yes, we're talking about the KDE Plasma 5.9.2 desktop environment, KDE Applications 16.12.2 software suite, KDE Frameworks 5.31.0, and KDE Development Platform 4.14.29, all of which can be found in your Chakra GNU/Linux's repos if you want to run the newest KDE software.

today's howtos

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • IOTA: IoT revolutionized with a Ledger
    Ever since the introduction of digital money, the world quickly came to realize how dire and expensive the consequences of centralized systems are. Not only are these systems incredibly expensive to maintain, they are also “single points of failures” which expose a large number of users to unexpected service interruptions, fraudulent activities and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious hackers. Thanks to Blockchain, which was first introduced through Bitcoin in 2009, the clear benefits of a decentralized and “trustless” transactional settlement system became apparent. No longer should expensive trusted third parties be used for handling transactions, instead, the flow of money should be handled in a direct, Peer-to-Peer fashion. This concept of a Blockchain (or more broadly, a distributed ledger) has since then become a global phenomenon attracting billions of dollars in investments to further develop the concept.
  • Return Home and Unify: My Case for Unity 8
  • Can netbooks be cool again?
    Earlier this week, my colleague Chaim Gartenberg covered a laptop called the GPD Pocket, which is currently being funded on Indiegogo. As Chaim pointed out, the Pocket’s main advantage is its size — with a 7-inch screen, the thing is really, really small — and its price, a reasonable $399. But he didn’t mention that the Pocket is the resurrection of one of the most compelling, yet fatally flawed, computing trends of the ‘00s: the netbook. So after ten years, are netbooks finally cool again? That might be putting it too strongly, but I’m willing to hope.

Linux Devices

  • Compact, rugged module runs Linux or Android on Apollo Lake
    Ubiqcomm’s 95 x 95mm, Apollo Lake-based “COM-AL6C” COM offers 4K video along with multiple SATA, USB, GbE, and PCIe interfaces, plus -40 to 85°C operation. Ubiqconn Technology Inc. has announced a “COM-AL6C” COM Express Type 6 Compact form factor computer-on-module built around Intel’s Apollo Lake processors and designed to withstand the rigors of both fixed and mobile industrial applications. The module offers a choice among three Intel Apollo Lake processors: the quad-core Atom x5-E3930, quad-core x5-E3940, and dual-core x7-E3950, which are clocked at up to 2.0GHz burst and offer TDPs from 6.5 to 12 Watts.
  • Internet-enable your microcontroller projects for under $6 with ESP8266
    To get started with IoT (the Internet of Things), your device needs, well, an Internet connection. Base Arduino microcontrollers don't have Internet connectivity by default, so you either need to add Ethernet, Wi-Fi shields, or adapters to them, or buy an Arduino that has built-in Internet connectivity. In addition to complexity, both approaches add cost and consume the already-precious Arduino flash RAM for program space, which limits what you can do. Another approach is to use a Raspberry Pi or similar single-board computer that runs a full-blown operating system like Linux. The Raspberry Pi is a solid choice in many IoT use cases, but it is often overkill when all you really want to do is read a sensor and send the reading up to a server in the cloud. Not only does the Raspberry Pi potentially drive up the costs, complexity, and power consumption of your project, but it is running a full operating system that needs to be patched, and it has a much larger attack surface than a simple microcontroller. When it comes to IoT devices and security, simpler is better, so you can spend more time making and less time patching what you already made.
  • Blinkenlights!
  • Blinkenlights, part 2
  • Blinkenlights, part 3
  • [Older] Shmoocon 2017: The Ins And Outs Of Manufacturing And Selling Hardware
    Every day, we see people building things. Sometimes, useful things. Very rarely, this thing becomes a product, but even then we don’t hear much about the ins and outs of manufacturing a bunch of these things or the economics of actually selling them. This past weekend at Shmoocon, [Conor Patrick] gave the crowd the inside scoop on selling a few hundred two factor authentication tokens. What started as a hobby is now a legitimate business, thanks to good engineering and abusing Amazon’s distribution program.
  • 1.8 Billion Mobile Internet Users NEVER use a PC, 200 Million PC Internet Users never use a mobile phone. Understanding the 3.5 Billion Internet Total Audience
    As I am working to finish the 2017 Edition of the TomiAhonen Almanac (last days now) I always get into various updates of numbers, that remind me 'I gotta tell this story'.. For example the internet user numbers. We have the December count by the ITU for year 2016, that says the world has now 3.5 Billion internet users in total (up from 3.2 Billion at the end of year 2015). So its no 'drama' to know what is 'that' number. The number of current internet total users is yes, 3.5 Billion, almost half of the planet's total population (47%).