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Munich's U-turn, Fedora 27 on Halloween, Back to Linux

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In the story that wouldn't die, Munich's Linux reversal in in the news again as the city's administrative committee recommended moving to a uniform Windows-based deployment throughout city government by 2020. Elsewhere, Fedora 27 is scheduled for release on October 31, 2017 and kde.org got a new look. Former Linux user Paul Cutler has returned to the fold and Blogger Dedoimedo compared Fedora's Xorg to Wayland.

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Kodi Illegal, Open Source Now a Word

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Seems the top story today was the arrest of five individuals for selling devices loaded up with Open Source Kodi. Apparently the kits came with add-ons that allowed users to stream pirated content. In other news, Merriam-Webster has added the word "Open Source" to its database of official words, along with 1000 others. Jonathan Terrasi described his Linux awakening and blogger Dedoimedo said the GNOME version of openSUSE 42.2 is better than Plasma, but it still doesn't redeem the mediocre release.

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Best Distros, openSUSE Whoops, Debian 9 One Step Closer

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In the latest Linux news, the news.opensuse.org got hacked and displayed "KurDish HaCk3rS WaS Here" for a while Monday and while the site has been restored, no comment on the hack has been issued. Elsewhere, Debian 9.0 has entered its final freeze in the last steps in preparations for release. FOSS Force has named their winner for top distro of 2016 and Swapnil Bhartiya shared his picks for the best for 2017. Blogger DarkDuck said MX-16 Xfce is "very close to the ideal" and Alwan Rosyidi found Solus OS is giving Elementary OS a run for its money. Phoronix.com's Michael Larabel explained why he uses Fedora and Jeremy Garcia announced the winners of the 2016 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards.

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Bodhi Needs Testers, Build Your Own PC

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Jeff Hoogland today posted that time has come to polish up Swami and asked for his bravest users to install the newest to give it a go. Tails is the latest distribution to deprecate their 32-bit architecture and GIMP 2.8.20 was released. Liam Tung reported on a new self-assembled laptop able to run Linux and Rick Broida suggested some light-weight distros for such cases. Just in case you actually take that route, Jamie McKane shared some tips for first time computer assemblers.

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Best Distros for Mac Users and Everyone Else

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Derrik Diener today said that a lot of Mac users jumped ship recently and he has some Linux suggestions for them. Adam Shepherd shared his list of best distributions for desktop users, enterprise servers, and security buffs. Most of his picks are very familiar. Elsewhere, GIMPer Alexandre Prokoudine blogged of the 2.10 blockers and Mozilla has pulled the plug on Firefox OS. In case you missed it, LibreOffice 5.3 was announced yesterday with the most features ever in a single release and Carla Schroder posted a quick down and dirty tutorial to becoming an Arch user.

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Also: GIMP 2.10 Coming, GIMP May Re-Target To GTK4 Rather Than GTK3

GIMP 2.10 blockers and the road to 3.0

KDE Plasma 5.9 Released, 5.10 Previewed; Steam Machines RIP

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Jonathan Riddell announced for the KDE team the arrival of Plasma 5.9, the next big update to the desktop family. This release brings some new features such as Global Menus and a new network configuration module. And if that wasn't enough KDE for you, Eike Hein blogged of some of the goodies being cooked up for 5.10. The Register reported on a bug in Cryptkeeper that triggered its removal from Debian, other distros are waiting for upstream fixes. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said Linux is the right choice for those who appreciate a modicum of privacy and Mairin Duffy said today to come join in the Fedora IRC chats.

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Top Ubuntu Mistakes, F26 Wallpaper Hunt, Linux GOTY

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It's that time of development again when the Fedora Design Team sends out their call for supplemental wallpapers. Artists and photographers are encouraged to participate. Matt Hartley discussed today some of the mistakes new users make with Ubuntu and offered up his best advice for avoiding them. TecMint compiled the top five reasons to install Linux and the second round of voting has begun in FOSS Force's Best Distro of 2016 contest. Some familiar names graced Google's Code-in winners and Gaming On Linux has identified the best games of 2016 through a user polling survey.

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Mint 18.1 KDE & Xfce, Bodhi 4.1.0, ftp.kernel.org RIP

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Clement Lefebvre announced the releases of Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce following earlier releases of MATE and Cinnamon versions. Mint 18.1 is a long term supported release meaning it will get security updates until 2021. Jeff Hoogland announced an update to Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, dubbed 4.1.0. This release brings all the security and bug updates since the 4.0.0 release as well as a new dark theme for the native Moksha desktop. The Fridge announced 17.04 Alpha 2 as the community wallpaper drive got underway and a new KDE laptop has surfaced.

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Also:

  • Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce released

    The Linux Mint team has just released the long term support release Linux Mint 18.1 as a KDE and Xfce edition to the public.

    The new version of Linux Mint brings software updates and refinements mostly. First, some information on Linux Mint 18.1 being a long term support release.

    The Mint team will support Linux Mint 18.1 with security updates until 2021. Future versions of Linux Mint will use the same base package as Linux Mint 18.1 until 2018. This ensures that it is easy to update to new versions.

  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” KDE released!
  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” Xfce released!

Best Distro, systemd Exploit, KDE neon Scare

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The Linux world keeps on turning and while I've been under the weather a KDE neon download scare rocked users recently as well as a newly discovered exploit in systemd. The exploit is said to "open the door to privilege escalation attacks, creating a means for hackers to root systems." Elsewhere, FOSS Force is running their annual Readers' Choice Awards Poll for the best Linux desktop distribution for the year ended a few weeks ago. Firefox 51.0 was released with a new logo and Arch is deprecating the 32-bit architecture images. Jamie Watson test several more distros on his new notebook and Jesse Smith reviewed GoboLinux saying, "I applaud the developers' efforts in making something unusual and interesting."

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2017 Desktops, neon Goes Calamares, Spices Changes

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Desktop choice is a hallmark of Linux and Jack Wallen today predicted which will become more popular in 2017. His list may surprise you. In other news, Jonathan Riddell said today that KDE neon would be switching installer from its current Ubiquity to another gaining in popularity. It's currently in the developer version, but it'll soon make its way into the user recommended version. Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre today announced changes to the Cinnamon desktop applets. He said he was concerned about security of 3rd party contributions given last year's security breach. Elsewhere, Robin Miller defended his Ubuntu choice saying, "So call me mass-average. Call me boring. Call me one of the many, the humble, the Ubuntu users!"

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Bloomberg's big move on machine learning and open source

With its orange text on black interface and colour coded keyboard, the Bloomberg professional services terminal – known simply as ‘The Terminal’ – doesn’t appear to have changed much since it was launched in the early ’80s. But behind the retro (Bloomberg prefers ‘modern icon’) stylings, its delivery of financial markets data news, and trading tools has advanced rapidly. The terminal’s 315,000 subscribers globally are now able to leverage on machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing techniques developed by the company, as they seek an edge in their investment decisions. Bloomberg is also applying those same techniques to its internal processes. Leading the company’s efforts in the area is Bloomberg’s head of data science Gideon Mann, who spoke with CIO Australia earlier this month. [...] Behind much of Bloomberg’s recent builds has been an open source ethic. Mann says there has been a sea change within the company about open source. "When the company started in 1981 and there really wasn't a whole lot of open source. And so there was a mentality of you know if it's not invented here we're not interested,” Mann says. [...] The organisation took some convincing, but, championed by the CTO, there has been a “huge culture change” towards open source. “There are two groups you got to convince: you’ve got to convince management that using open source is going to be safe and lead to better software, and then you also have to convince engineers that using open source is going to increase their skillset, will lead to software that’s easier to maintain and is less buggy and it's going to be a more beautiful system. Once you can kind of convince those two then you're set,” Mann says. The company is an active contributor to projects including Solr, Hadoop, Apache Spark and Open Stack. Read more Also: Uber Open Sources AthenaX, Its Streaming Analytics Platform

Firefox 57 - Trick or Treat?

The best way to describe Firefox 57 is too little, too late, but better later than never. In a way, it's a pointless release, because it brings us back roughly where Firefox was and should have been years ago. Only all this time in between was wasted losing user base. WebExtensions will be the thing that makes or breaks the browser, and with insufficient quality in the available replacements for those that don't make the culling list, there will be no real incentive for people to stay around. Firefox 57 is better than earlier versions in terms of looks and performance, but that's like saying you get 50% discount on a price that is twice what it should be. Ultimately unnecessary, just like graduating from university by the age of 68. There aren't any major advantages over Chrome. This is essentially a Firefox that sucks less. So yes, on the positive side, if you do want to continue using Firefox, version 57 makes much more sense than the previous 53 releases. It has an almost normal look, some of the sorely needed security & privacy addons are available, and it offers a passable user experience in terms of speed and responsiveness. Bottom line, I will stick with Firefox for now. As long as my extensions keep working. Take care. Read more

Android Leftovers

The origin and evolution of FreeDOS

Over the years, developers have shared with me how they use FreeDOS to run embedded systems. My all-time favorite example is a developer who used FreeDOS to power a pinball machine. FreeDOS ran an application that controlled the board, tallied the score, and updated the back display. I don't know exactly how it was built, but one way such a system could work is to have every bumper register a "key" on a keyboard bus and the application simply read from that input. I thought it was cool. People sometimes forget about legacy software, but it pops up in unexpected places. I used to be campus CIO of a small university, and once a faculty member brought in some floppy disks with old research data on them. The data wasn't stored in plaintext files, rather as DOS application data. None of our modern systems would read the old data files, so we booted a spare PC with FreeDOS, downloaded a shareware DOS program that could read the application data, and exported the data to plaintext. Read more