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News about Google, Chrom*, various services, etc.

Android-x86 4.4 RC2 KitKat Is a Linux Distro for PCs Based on the OS from Google

Filed under
Android
Linux
Google

Some of you might not know this, but Android is actually based on the Linux kernel, although the Google developers are releasing it with a modified version of the kernel. This has been the case right from the beginning and the Android source has been released under a number of open source pieces of software.

This doesn't mean that any company can get the source code and start shipping devices with the OS just because it is open source. The problem is a little more complicated than this and it has to do with the type of license. The source code may be open source, but if you plan to make money off it you will need to cut Google a part of your pie, if by any chance you are going to also use services like Gmail or any other proprietary software.

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Open Source Chief at Redhat Hit With Bogus Copyright Claims

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Red Hat
Google

Bogus copyright claims on YouTube are getting more and more prevalent, but they only get exposure when they do damage to high-profile targets. Michael Tiemann is the Chief of Open Source Affairs at Redhat Inc. and apparently he can't use Creative Commons music in his uploads without being bombarded with copyright claims.

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CoreOS Linux distro lands on the Google Cloud Platform

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server
Google

Designed for massive server deployments, CoreOS consumes less than 200MB of working memory per instance

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Stable Channel Update: Chrome 35

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Google

The Chrome Team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 35 to the Stable channel for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Chrome 35.0.1916.114 contains a number of fixes and improvements, including:
More developer control over touch input
New JavaScript features
Unprefixed Shadow DOM
A number of new apps/extension APIs
Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

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Linux FTW: Lenovo launches two Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The world’s leading PC maker Lenovo has also joined the Linux band-wagon and launched its first Linux-powered Chromebook for consumers space – earlier Lenovo offered Chromebooks for education. Lenovo has announced two Chromebooks – N20 and N20p. While both Chromebooks are identical, N20p offers a touchscreen display and its keyboard can flex 300° backward to convert from Laptop mode to Stand mode. So users can use the 10-finger touchscreen to consume content. It’s definitely a great device for both content consumption as well as content creation.

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HP Chromebook 11 redesign quietly appears

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The new Chromebook has the latter design, much to the surprise of Youtuber Lachlan, who discovered the alternate Chromebook 11 and posted a video of it. Apparently, Lachlan, who resides in Australia, purchased what was labelled as a “white Chromebook 11″, but soon realized that it was not the same as the other Chromebooks 11, but rather a miniature Chromebook 14.

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Google Chrome 36 Dev Adds Extra Step for Profile Deletion

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Google
Software

Google developers have released a new build of their Chrome browser, 36.0.1976.2, and this is quite a hefty update, full of various changes and improvements. Even so, it’s not recommended that you switch to the new version, if you already are running on of the two other branches, Stable or Beta.

Developers usually make the big changes in the Development branch and most of those modifications trickle down into the Beta, and then finally into the Stable. It may take a while for all the features to be implemented for the majority of users, but this is the safest way to do it.

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Why a Chromebook is the best Mother’s Day gift

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GNU
Linux
Google

The last reason why you should get your mom a Chromebook is their value. Currently, the most expensive Chromebook available for purchase is the HP Chromebook 14 at $299 or $349, depending on which version you get. This is the one I purchased, since it has the largest screen for a Chromebook, and has Intel’s new Haswell Celeron processors. (For more on my thoughts of the HP Chromebook 14, click here). Most other Chromebooks only cost $199 to $299, and that is if you purchase it new. Chromebooks can be purchased used, and still seem like a brand new laptop, as long as they look new cosmetically.

This may seem expensive as a mother’s day gift, but do not think about it as a one time gift, but as a long term investment. Your mother will never have to purchase a new computer again, since Chromebooks are built to last forever and come with free updates. She will never have to purchase antivirus again, nor any other software, since most of the apps on the Chrome Web Store are free. (For a guide on the Chrome Web Store, click here). By purchasing your mom a Chromebook, you save her from ever having to worry about her computer again. This saves both your mom and you time and money.

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Dangerous Decision in Oracle v. Google: Federal Circuit Reverses Sensible Lower Court Ruling on APIs

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

We're still digesting today's lengthy decision in the Oracle v. Google appeal, but we're disappointed—and worried. The heart of the appeal was whether Oracle can claim a copyright on Java APIs and, if so, whether Google infringed that copyright. According to the Federal Circuit today, the answer to both questions was a qualified yes—with the qualification being that Google may have a fair use defense.

Quick background: When it implemented the Android OS, Google wrote its own version of Java. But in order to allow developers to write their own programs for Android, Google relied on Java APIs. Application Programming Interfaces are, generally speaking, specifications that allow programs to communicate with each other. So when you type a letter in a word processor, and hit the print command, you are using an API that lets the word processor talk to the printer driver, even though they were written by different people.

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Google Play Services 4.4 now rolling out

Filed under
Android
Google

A new version of Google Play Services with several new features has been released and has begun rolling out. The added features and improvements in Google Play Services 4.4 can enhance your user experience while using Android apps.

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What are the alternatives to Google Chrome and Firefox on Linux?

Filed under
Linux
Google
Moz/FF

Say what you want about web browsers on Linux, I just miss Internet Explorer. No let's be serious. A great thing about Linux distributions is in general that they come packaged with a good browser. If that browser is not your favorite, you can easily install another one (and you don't necessarily need a browser to download your favorite browser). For most users, however, this favorite browser will be Chrome or Firefox, and there are reasons for that: they are both good browsers. For more adventurous users, there is also Opera, which recently improved. But, there exist browsers out there which are a lot more exotic, with particular features and goals. I shall propose you eight examples: eight browsers which may not be as complete as Chrome or Firefox, but which are definitely worth checking out for their philosophies or design.

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DosBox 0.1.4 – For ChromeOS!

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Google
Software
Gaming

Over the years I’ve looked at DosBox many times, I’ve covered it when it was included as part of the Puppy Arcade distro and I’ve covered it as a package in its own right.

To say the package is impressive is to grossly understate this piece of software.

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Chromebooks to go offline as Intel moves inside

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Intel has finally joined the Chrome OS bandwagon ensuring it won’t become obsolete in the post PC (Windows) era. The two companies hosted a joint press event on May 6 where they announced quite a lot of Chromebooks powered by Intel chips. Intel enjoyed a monopolistic position during the Windows era and the partnership between Intel & Windows was known as Wintel, which unfortunately was bad for the industry as it lead to some anti-competitive business practices which heavily damaged (and almost destroyed AMD).

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Chromebooks Gain Important Features, Appear to Be Here to Stay

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GNU
Linux
Google

Part of what's driving Chromebooks forward is that Google is on a rapid release cycle with Chrome OS. And, very importantly, Google has relaxed the fiercely cloud-centric vision it originally had for Chrome OS, so that applications for Chromebooks can be used offline.

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Google Open-Sources Their AutoFDO Profile Toolchain

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google has open-sourced their toolchain for providing automatic feedback-directed optimizations from perf data profiles to what can be used by GCC and LLVM.

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New Intel powered Chromebooks to feature Bay Trail chipset

Filed under
Linux
Google

A plethora of new Intel-powered Chrome OS devices were announces at a press conference hosted Wednesday by tech giant Google and chip manufacturer Intel. The event, which featured Caesar Sengupta from Google, and Navin Shenoy, vice president and general manager of mobile computing at Intel, announced, among other things, Chromebooks powered by Intel’s low-energy Bay Trail chipset, which will enable the lightweight computers running the Linux-based, web-centric operating system from Google to reportedly have 11 hours of battery life. Other devices announced include Intel’s Haswell and Core i3 chips.

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LG Chromebase will be available May 26th

Filed under
Linux
Google

The LG Chromebase, the first all-in-one Chrome OS PC, has been announced to be made available to US customers on May 26. With 2 GB of memory, a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), and a dual-core Intel Haswell CPU, LG has followed the usual specifications found on most Chromebooks. For those unfamiliar with Chromebooks, these specifications would probably be seem insufficient. However, what makes Chromebooks and the Chromebase stand out, is that they run Google‘s Chrome OS. Chrome OS is based upon Linux, so is very light and does not need many resources. In addition, since it only runs internet applications, it does not need many resources.

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For Better and for Worse, Chromebooks Have Become PCs

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Chromebooks are no longer a small, focused selection of purpose-built machines, but a sprawling array of increasingly meaningless choices.

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Chromebook space heating up: Asus launches two models

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Another day, another two new Chromebooks get unwrapped. Hot on the heals of Lenovo's announcement of the N20 and N20p Chromebooks, Asus unveils the C200 and C300. The new Chromebooks come in two sizes and promise battery life of 10 hours.

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Google and Intel team up to give Chromebooks more power

Filed under
Google

Probably the biggest thing missing from Intel's announcements today were any Chromebooks that have a larger or higher-quality screen — most Chromebooks remain stuck with 11-inch screens and relatively low resolutions. Samsung's new Chromebook may run the less powerful Exynos processor, but it also features a 13-inch, 1080p screen — it seems that Chrome consumers will still need to choose between power and a quality screen for the time being. As always, Intel, Google, and its OEM partners said they'll continue to innovate on the hardware front, even though these Chromebooks are pretty similar design-wise to earlier models. "As users do more with Chrome, they'll expect more from the hardware that surrounds it," said Google VP Caesar Sengupta.

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