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How Chromebooks Are About to Totally Transform Laptop Design

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo
Google
  • How Chromebooks Are About to Totally Transform Laptop Design

    Google’s first Chromebook was the kind of laptop you’d design if you didn’t give a damn about laptop design. It was thick, heavy, rubbery, boring, and black. Black keys, black body, black trackpad, black everything. Everything about the Cr-48 was designed to communicate that this device was still an experiment. Even the name, a reference to an unstable isotope of the element Chromium, was a hint at the chaos raging inside this black box. “The hardware exists,” Sundar Pichai told a crowd of reporters at the Cr-48’s launch event in December of 2010, “only to test the software.”

    Moments later, Eric Schmidt took the stage and preached about how the “network computer” tech-heads had been predicting for decades was finally ready to change the world. “We finally have a product,” Schmidt said, “which is strong enough, technical enough, scalable enough, and fast enough that you can build actually powerful products on it.” Apparently already sensing the skeptical feedback Chrome OS would get, he gestured toward the audience and told them “it does, in fact, work.”

  • 7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Chromebook

    Chromebook is a different thing from Netbooks with the fact that it does not have Windows being a huge difference. Chromebooks thus run on a fresh and different operating system that while it is not an old OS it isn’t a desktop kind of OS either but a mobile one.

    Chromebooks have pretty hardware, especially if the Haswell processors they are running on, which are energy efficient, are anything to go by. Nonetheless, there are many reasons why buying Chromebooks make a lot of sense.

How Google Uses and Contributes to Open Source

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OSS

Engineer Marc Merlin has been working at Google since 2001 but has been involved with Linux since 1993, in its very early days. Since then, open source adoption has dramatically increased, but a new challenge is emerging: Not many companies care about the license side of open source, Merlin stated in his talk “How Google Uses and Contributes to Open Source” at LinuxCon and ContainerCon North America.

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Google's Fuchsia OS is out in the open and shrouded in mystery

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OS
Google
OSS

Google is developing a new operating system named Fuchsia, and the early source code is already public. Google itself and Fuchsia’s developers haven’t explained what the OS is for—but we can dig into the source code to learn more.

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How Google created a new kind of open source program office

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Google
OSS

How does Google benefit by embracing a mission that goes beyond wielding industry influence? The benefits are not easy to calculate, but there are metrics that are objective, such as perceived influence compared to actual engineering contributions. Google may not contribute the most code and, before Kubernetes, its open source projects were either small efforts or tightly constrained and not very open (e.g., Chrome, Android), but it carries great (one might say outsized) influence in open source developer circles, which gave it a great platform to launch Kubernetes and increase its chances of success. But Google did things like create Google Code, which at one time was a massive repository of the world's open source code, and it created the Summer of Code. Although neither of these initiatives involved massive code contributions by Google, they enabled developers around the world to collaborate and write more code. To date, no other company—vendor, user, or otherwise—has embraced this mission to the same degree as Google. Although this is great for Google, one wonders when some other enterprising company will invest in a similar vision.

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VintOS Promises to Be the Chromium OS Fork You've Always Wanted and Needed

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo
Google

Dylan Callahan from the Chromium OS for SBCs (Single-Board Computers) project, which unfortunately was discontinued due to lack of interest from users, informed Softpedia today, September 5, 2016, that he's working on a new Linux-based OS.

We have to admit that we're quite surprised to see that developers aren't giving up on their ambitions of creating the best fork of a well-known Linux kernel-based operating system, in this case Chromium OS. While Chromium OS for SBCs was aimed at embedded and IoT devices, the new one is targeted at all PCs.

World, meet VintOS! What's VintOS? Well, it's upcoming open-source fork of Chromium OS, the operating system on which the famous Google Chrome OS is based. To make a name for itself from the get go, VintOS is named after one of the founding fathers of the Internet, Vinton Cerf, and it's explicitly designed with educational purposes in mind.

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Acer’s New Chromebook

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GNU
Linux
Google
  • Acer’s convertible Chromebook R13 is built for Android apps

    Those itching to run Android software on ChromeOS should check out the new 2-and-1 device from Acer. The convertible $399 Chromebook R13 laptop has a 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen that makes it suitable to run all variety of mobile apps. Google announced back in May it would begin letting Android developers support ChromeOS starting in the fall, and Acer is one the first device makers to produce a laptop-tablet hybrid that fits the bill.

    With regards to specs, the R13 comes with 4GB of memory in 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB varieties with about 12 hours of battery life. It packs a MediaTek quad-core processor and also supports USB-C as well. It’ll be available starting in October, when Google plans to have already rolled out full support for Android apps on ChromeOS.

  • Acer's convertible Chromebook R 13 is designed to welcome Android apps

    Acer’s versatile Chromebook R 13 is one good device to run Android apps because it can function as a laptop or tablet.

    The 2-in-1 has a rotating 13-inch full HD screen that gives it dual functionality. The touchscreen gives it a mobile-like interface to run Android apps.

    The device has Chrome OS, but Google is making it possible to run Android apps from Google Play store on newer Chromebooks. Acer will add Android app support to the new Chromebook, the company said.

    Android app support adds to the versatility of Chromebooks, which are popular as cheap and low-cost laptops. The shipments of 2-in-1s are growing, and Chrome OS is better suited for those devices than Android.

    PC makers like HP and Dell are giving up on Android tablets but are interested in Android apps on Chromebooks. It made sense for Google to add Android app support, with tablet shipments declining and Chromebook shipments growing.

How Google Does Open Source

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Google
OSS

Marc Merlin has been working as an engineer at Google since 2002 and has seen (and done) a lot of open source and Linux work during that time. Speaking at the LinuxCon North America event this week, Merlin provided a standing room only audience with an overview how Google uses and contributes to open source.

"Google wouldn't be around today without open source software," Merlin said.

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Android/Google Leftovers

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Android
Google

Google's FOSS

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Google
OSS
  • Google updates Santa Tracker open source code with changes from last Christmas

    Is it Christmas time already? Not quite, but we don't have long before kids start counting down the days to Santa's visit. When they ask, Google is again ready to provide an answer.

    Last April, Google open sourced Santa Tracker and its various components. Then it developed new experiences to show off around Christmas time. Eight months later, that code is now open source as well.

  • More News Arrives on Fuchsia, Google's Mystery Open Source OS

    Everyone loves a mystery and if you're a mystery fan you have to be paying attention to Google's mysterious new open source operating system, which is dubbed "fuchsia," alluding to what you get when you mix purple with pink. While you'll read many reports saying that nothing has been said about fuchsia officially, Google engineers actually have popped up in various online forums descrbing the new OS.

Top five 2016 Chromebooks for school and everywhere else

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Google

Chromebooks are now the most popular school laptops of them all. If your school doesn't supply them, here are your best choices.

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Also: How to pick the best Chromebook for school

How to Install Ubuntu on a Chromebook Pixel

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More in Tux Machines

Amazon Linux 2 - Who nicked my cheese?

So far, it's a relatively benign, easy introduction to a new operating system that blends the familiar and new in a timid package. Perhaps that's the goal, because a radical offering would right away scare everyone. Amazon Linux 2 is an appealing concept, as it gives users what Red Hat never quite did (yet) - A Fedora-like bleeding-edge tech with the stability and long-term support of the mainstay enterprise offering. But then, it also pulls a Debian/Ubuntu stunt by breaking ABI, so it will be cubicle to those who enjoying living la vida loco (in their cubicle or open-space prison). Having lived and breathed the large-scale HPC world for many years, I am quite piqued to see how this will evolve. Performance, stability and ease of use will be my primary concerns. Then, is it possible to hook up a remote virtual machine into the EC2 hive? That's another experiment, and I'd like to see if scaling and deployment works well over distributed networks. Either way, even if nothing comes out of it, Amazon Linux 2 is a nice start to a possibly great adventure. Or yet another offspring in the fragmented family we call Linux. Time will tell. Off you go. Cloud away. Read more

Updates From OpenIndiana and LibreOffice (Projects That Oracle Discarded)

  • Migration to GCC 6.4 as userland compiler
    Modulo some minor details, the transition of our userland to GCC 6 is complete.
  • OpenIndiana Has Upgraded To The GCC 6 Compiler
    The OpenSolaris/Illumos-based OpenIndiana operating system has finally moved past GCC 4.9 as its base user-land compiler and is now using GCC 6.4. This comes while GCC 8.1 should be officially released in the next few weeks and they are already targeting GCC 7.3.0 as their next illumos-gate compiler.
  • LibreOffice 6.0 Open-Source Office Suite Passes 1 Million Downloads Mark
    The Document Foundation announced recently that its LibreOffice 6.0 open-source and cross-platform office suite reached almost 1 million downloads since its release last month on January 31, 2018. That's terrific news for the Open Source and Free Software community and a major milestone for the acclaimed LibreOffice office suite, which tries to be a free alternative to proprietary solutions like Microsoft Office. The 1 million downloads mark was reached just two weeks after the release of LibreOffice 6.0, which is the biggest update ever of the open-source office suite adding numerous new features and enhancements over previous versions.

FreeBSD Finally Gets Mitigated For Spectre & Meltdown (and Hugs)

  • FreeBSD Finally Gets Mitigated For Spectre & Meltdown
    Landing in FreeBSD today was the mitigation work for the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities. It's taken a few more weeks longer than most of the Linux distributions to be re-worked for Spectre/Meltdown mitigation as well as DragonFlyBSD, but with FreeBSD Revision 329462 it appears their initial fixes are in place. There is Meltdown mitigation for Intel CPUs via a KPTI implementation similar to Linux, the Kernel Page Table Isolation. There is also a PCID (Process Context Identifier) optimization for Intel Westmere CPUs and newer, just as was also done on Linux.
  • FreeBSD outlaws virtual hugs
  • AsiaBSDCon 2018 Conference Programme

Linux: To recurse or not

Linux and recursion are on very good speaking terms. In fact, a number of Linux command recurse without ever being asked while others have to be coaxed with just the right option. When is recursion most helpful and how can you use it to make your tasks easier? Let’s run through some useful examples and see. Read more