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Gadgets

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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Top 5 Android Smartphones — January 2015

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Android
Gadgets

We brought you our last top 5 Android list back in October and, as it’s already the first quarter of this year, it’s time to revisit that list. There are certainly some new models to discuss, the G Flex 2 was just introduced during CES 2015, for example, but we’re also just a couple of months away from Mobile World Congress, where it’s almost certain that the following phones will be replaced by the next batch of flagships.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Lenovo Cloud Director: Open Source Technologies Are The Glue That Binds The Hybrid Cloud
    Hardware giant Lenovo is banking on a future where both public and private clouds are critical in driving IT innovation, and the glue binding those hybrid environments is mostly open source technologies. Dan Harmon, Lenovo's group director of cloud and software-defined infrastructure, encouraged solution providers attending the NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo on Wednesday to explore opportunities to engage Lenovo as its products stock the next generation of cloud data centers. Both public and private clouds are growing rapidly and will dominate the market by 2020, Harmon told attendees of the conference produced by CRN parent The Channel Company.
  • Cloudera Ratchets Up its Training for Top Open Source Data Solutions
    Recently, we've taken note of the many organizations offering free or low cost Hadoop and Big Data training. MIT and MapR are just a couple of the players making waves in this space. Recently, Cloudera announced a catalog of online, self-paced training classes covering the company's entire portfolio of industry-standard Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark training courses. The courses, according to Cloudera, allow you to learn about the latest big data technologies "in a searchable environment anytime, anywhere." Now, Cloudera has announced an updated lineup of training courses and performance-based certification exams for data analysts, database administrators, and developers. The expanded training offerings address the skills gap around many top open source technologies, such as Apache Impala (incubating), Apache Spark, Apache Kudu, Apache Kafka and Apache Hive.
  • Netflix’s open-source project Hollow, NVIDIA’s deep learning kits for educators, and new IBM Bluemix integrations—SD Times news digest: Dec. 6, 2016
  • Open governance enhances the value of land use policy software
    In December 2015, the COP21 Paris Agreement saw many countries commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives in the land sector. In this context, emissions estimation systems will be key in ensuring these targets are met. Such solutions would not only be capable of assessing past trends but also of supporting target setting, tracking progress and helping to develop scenarios to inform policy decisions.
  • Blender Institute collaborate with Lulzbot in the name of open source
    Blender Institute, a platform for 3D design and animation, are collaborating with Lulzbot 3D printers. This project a continuation of Lulzbot and Blender Institute’s approach to open source and aimed at enhancing collaboration. The Blender Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is an important figure in the Free and Open Source Software community (FOSS). Providing open source design tool software for 3D movies, games, and visual effects. While Lulzbot, a product line of Aleph Objects take an open source approach to hardware through their 3D printers.
  • Bluetooth 5 Specification Released

Remembering Linux Installfests

Ah, yes. I remember the good old days when you had to be a real man or woman to install Linux, and the first time you tried you ended up saying something like “Help!” or maybe “Mommmmyyyyy!” Really, kids, that’s how it was. Stacks of floppies that took about 7,000 hours to download over your 16 baud connection. Times sure have changed, haven’t they? I remember Caldera advertising that their distribution autodetected 1,500 different monitors. I wrote an article titled “Monitor Number 1501,” because it didn’t detect my monitor. And sound. Getting sound going in Linux took mighty feats of systemic administsationish strength. Mere mortals could not do it. And that’s why we had installfests: so mighty Linux he-men and she-women could come down from the top of Slackware Mountain or the Red Hat Volcano and share their godlike wisdom with us. We gladly packed up our computers and took them to the installfest location (often at a college, since many Linux-skilled people were collegians) and walked away with Linuxized computers. Praise be! Read more

What New Is Going To Be In Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus'

Right on the heels of Ubuntu 16.10 'Yakkety Yak' is Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus. Ubuntu 17.04 is currently scheduled for release on April 13, 2017 but know that this is only an estimate. One thing to know is that all things being equal, it is going to be released in April 2017. Ubuntu Zesty Zapus will be supported for only 9 months until January 2018 as it is not a LTS (long term support) release. Read
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Security News

  • News in brief: DirtyCOW patched for Android; naked lack of security; South Korea hacked
  • Millions exposed to malvertising that hid attack code in banner pixels
    Researchers from antivirus provider Eset said "Stegano," as they've dubbed the campaign, dates back to 2014. Beginning in early October, its unusually stealthy operators scored a major coup by getting the ads displayed on a variety of unnamed reputable news sites, each with millions of daily visitors. Borrowing from the word steganography—the practice of concealing secret messages inside a larger document that dates back to at least 440 BC—Stegano hides parts of its malicious code in parameters controlling the transparency of pixels used to display banner ads. While the attack code alters the tone or color of the images, the changes are almost invisible to the untrained eye.
  • Backdoor accounts found in 80 Sony IP security camera models
    Many network security cameras made by Sony could be taken over by hackers and infected with botnet malware if their firmware is not updated to the latest version. Researchers from SEC Consult have found two backdoor accounts that exist in 80 models of professional Sony security cameras, mainly used by companies and government agencies given their high price. One set of hard-coded credentials is in the Web interface and allows a remote attacker to send requests that would enable the Telnet service on the camera, the SEC Consult researchers said in an advisory Tuesday.
  • I'm giving up on PGP
    After years of wrestling GnuPG with varying levels of enthusiasm, I came to the conclusion that it's just not worth it, and I'm giving up. At least on the concept of long term PGP keys. This is not about the gpg tool itself, or about tools at all. Many already wrote about that. It's about the long term PGP key model—be it secured by Web of Trust, fingerprints or Trust on First Use—and how it failed me.