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Sony SmartWatch 3 Review: The Best-Performing Android Smartwatch Yet

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Reviews
Gadgets

Sony's been trying the smartwatch thing for years, but the original SmartWatch and the SmartWatch 2 both... what's the word I'm looking for here? Sucked? Yeah. But the SmartWatch 3 has solid performance and two nifty features you won't find on any other Android Wear. It's the first with built-in GPS and a screen you can read without backlighting.

Android Wear watches are off to a pretty decent start. The Moto 360, the LG G Watch R, and the Asus ZenWatch are all lovely and useful in their own ways. So why might you buy a Sony smartwatch instead?

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How About a Chromebook on Steroids?

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Gadgets

There’s been a lot of interesting Linux news of late. Not just GNU/Linux, but all types of Linux, Android, Chrome OS, Firefox OS, embedded (IoT), cloud computing, cars, TVs, just about anything you can think of. But truth be told, I’d like to see more Linux on the desktop — just as Linus Torvalds said he would like to see that.

The recent purchase of a Chromebook for my son got me thinking about a new opportunity for Linux on the desktop. This is not an idea for getting a standard GNU/Linux desktop to automagically replace all existing Windows desktops, but to leverage the cloud computing paradigm with a bulked­-up Chromebook-­like system that would be workable for 80 to 90 percent of personal, school, and business needs.

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Dell's super thin, aluminum Venue 8 7000 is a surprisingly solid Android tablet

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Android
Gadgets

But companies are indeed bothering to make new designs and try different approaches to the tried and true tablet formula. The latest of which is Dell, which recently launched the clumsily named Venue 8 7000 Series (I’m just going to call it the Venue 8). The $399 Venue 8 is part of a design renaissance at Dell (along with the new XPS 13 laptop), showcasing premium materials and killer displays. It also acts as a vehicle for some never-before-seen mobile technologies from Intel. There are really two things that matter with the Venue 8, and they're why anyone is spending time talking about it: its design and its camera array.

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Good and Samsung Partner to Harden Android Security

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Android
Security
Gadgets

The two biggest issues regarding Android's security are the size of the Android market and fragmentation of the Android ecosystem. Those issues impact all mobile platforms, not just Android, according to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "The former point is an issue since, as Microsoft learned to its sorrow with Windows," King remarked.

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Android Wear just got very, very smart

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Android
Gadgets

Google's Android Wear software just got smart - very smart - simply because it integrates Google Now top to bottom. With an update to Google Now comes an update to Android Wear, and what we're seeing today is an explosive update that'll make the suggestions for directions and sports scores you've been getting so far seem like drops in a barrel of friendly, and I daresay helpful, updates from apps of all kinds. Everything from eBay auction updates to the ability to "Download Venice" - all on your wrist, very soon.

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This Huge Coffee Table Can Switch Between Android and Windows, No Joke

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Android
Gadgets

The table is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and the table top is only 2.4-inches / 60mm in thickness. On the Windows side, the panel can detect up to 60 distinct touch points, while on the Android one there are only 12.

As we told you above, the table can essentially offer the perks of both Android and Windows in the same machine. The Android system is supported by a quad-core Rockchip RK3288 clocked at 2.0GHz fitted with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internals storage. The type of Android you’ll see here is version 4.4 KitKat.

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Sony SmartWatch 3 Review: Android Wear's First Generation Champion

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Android
Gadgets

Sony is both early to the smartwatch game, and late at the same time. The SmartWatch 3 puts aside some of the lessons of Sony’s previous wearables, but manages to learn some valuable lessons from the competition.

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Review: Two Android Wear Watches That Are (Almost) Worth Buying

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Android
Reviews
Gadgets

2015 is the year the battle for your wrist goes nuclear, as the highly anticipated Apple Watch will finally hit store shelves.

But it’s not here yet. Watches using Google’s Android Wear, however, are, and they have been getting better since they were first unveiled last June.

Two of the latest watches in the Google camp: Sony’s SmartWatch 3 and LG’s G Watch R. Both watches have unique features that help them stand out from the first wave of Android Wear devices. Sony’s watch offers a standalone GPS, while LG’s has a completely circular display.

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Firefox enters the realm of virtual reality with the Oculus Rift

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Moz/FF
Gadgets

Users of an experimental build of Firefox will be able to explore virtual reality inside the browser after Mozilla added support for the Oculus Rift headset.

People running Firefox Nightly will be able to explore 3D environments inside web pages using the Rift, following the addition of support for the WebVR API.

Virtual reality allow users to explore 3D spaces by donning a headset that tracks their head movements and allows them to look around a 3D computer-generated world.

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Ubuntu Linux is now ready to power your appliances and robots

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Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Ubuntu Linux has spread to quite a few platforms in its 10-year history, if not always successfully. Today, though, the open source software is tackling what could be its greatest challenge yet: the internet of things. Canonical has released a version of its stripped-down snappy Ubuntu Core for connected devices like home appliances, robots and anything else where a conventional PC operating system wouldn't fly. It's designed to run on modest hardware (a 600MHz processor will do) and provide easy updates, all the while giving gadget makers the freedom to customize the software for whatever they're building. It promises to be extra-reliable, too -- it only applies updates if the code checks out, so you won't lose control of your smart thermostat due to a buggy upgrade.

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Linux on Servers

  • Who's cashing in on containers? Look to the cloud
    Docker-style containers are so hot they’ve broken the scale ETR uses to measure CIO intent to purchase enterprise technology, registering “the strongest buying intention score ever recorded in [its] six-year history.” While that data is more than a year old, more recent analyses peg Docker adoption up by a factor of 2.6 in 2016 over 2015, yielding a market worth $762 million in 2016, projected to bloat to $2.7 billion by 2020, according to 451 Research.
  • Serverless Computing Is the Stack Reimagined [Ed: Serverless=you have less control over the computer you use. Cloud=you have no ownership of the computer you use. Serverless Cloud=suicide.]
    In Ho's own words, "Serverless computing is the code execution model that the cloud provider abstracts the complexity of managing individual servers." This basically means the provider worries about the servers. You just run your code on them.
  • Docker 1.13 Prunes Containers, Improves Security
    The Docker 1.13 release introduces multiple new commands including prune and squash, which can help containers to use disk space more efficiently. Docker officially announced its 1.13 release on Jan. 19, with new capabilities to help build, manage and secure containers.

Android Leftovers

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Linux Kernel 4.4.44 LTS Brings Some x86 Improvements, Various Updated Drivers

After informing us about the availability of the fifth maintenance update of the Linux 4.9 kernel series, which has recently become a long-term supported branch, Greg Kroah-Hartman is today announcing the availability of Linux 4.4.44 LTS. If you're reading our regular reports on the Linux kernel, you should be aware of the fact that the Linux 4.4 kernel branch is a long-term support (LTS) one that should get security patches for one more year, until February 2018. This branch is currently available in several popular GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Alpine Linux, and Arch Linux, and Linux 4.4.44 LTS is now the most advanced release. Read more Also: Linux 4.9 Confirmed As The New Long-Term Supported Kernel