News

Various news items of interest

This is the golden age of open source

Filed under
OSS

Matt Asay is dead wrong to call the current era of the software industry "post open source," as he did in InfoWorld last week. We are currently in the open source age, enjoying all the practical flexibility that open sources licenses bring. What may be confusing him is that people are no longer obsessed with arguing about software freedom -- they take it as given.

Asay claims "'open source' doesn't really matter anymore." His own words and affiliations prove he's mistaken.

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Moving to LibreOffice saves Toulouse 1 million

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OSS

Toulouse, France's fourth largest city, has saved 1 million euro by migrating all its desktops to LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools. "Free software and open source in general is now an established part of the city’s comprehensive digital policy, and the open model promotes economic development and employment in the region", according to a study published by the Open Source Observatory and Repository today.

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Two Years With Debian GNU/Linux - An Average Guy’s Verdict

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian

I used to be quite the Linux enthusiast, trying new distributions almost daily, keeping up to date with news and software versions, just generally participating in the whole scene, though as a technical know-nothing really. I kinda got tired of it after a while and decided to settle on one distribution that would be low on bandwidth needs, extremely stable, and able to do all the things, admittedly a rather limited array of things, that I need it to do. I had been playing with Debian GNU/Linux’s Wheezy iteration (yes, they use “Toy Story” character names) since late 2011, when it was still the “testing” version, and noticed after a year or so that it was in a frozen state, largely set for final release, which ultimately happened, in typical molasses-slow Debian fashion, in early May of 2013. So I guess I’ve been using it as my one and only OS for the better part of two years, rarely if ever booting into any of the dozen or so other distributions I still have installed or into Windows 7. I have it fine tuned to my liking and it does every single thing I need it to do. It’s been reliable and stable, exactly as expected.

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Quelitu 14.04 Devs Think Their OS Can Replace Windows XP or Windows Vista

Filed under
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Quelitu, a multilingual operating system based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Lubuntu LTS, which aims to power antique computers and to replace all the recent Windows releases, is now at version 14.04.

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Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2 Gets Firefox 31 and VLC 2.1.3

Filed under
Linux
Moz/FF

Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2, a distribution that aims to rival Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, is now ready for testing.

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KDE 5 Delivers New Linux Desktop Environment

Filed under
KDE
Linux

The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.

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Icecat, the big absent

Filed under
GNU

GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser, a lot of people know this browser but it seems few used. It is a free software like Mozilla Firefox but Icecat main advantage is the ethical one because does not distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons.

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Best Android Camera Apps 2014

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Android

Taking photos with an Android phone can be a very satisfying endeavor. Or it can be a study in frustration and ruined photo opportunities. Why? Because while all Android devices are powered by Google's GOOGL +0.33% OS, phone makers are free to develop their own camera apps, adopting or omitting photo features as they see fit. Simply put, some companies do this better than others. One of the best ways to improve your photography experience then, is to use a third party camera app instead of the one that came installed on your phone.

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Schools Are Gobbling Up Chromebooks: 1 Million Sold in 3 Months

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Schools purchased more than 1 million Chromebooks — budget laptops that run Chrome OS — in the second quarter of 2014, Google announced on Monday.

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Banana Pi review – tastier than Raspberry?

Filed under
Linux

Does the first of the true Raspberry Pi clones have what it takes to come out from the shadow of its highly-successful inspiration?

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Here’s a low-barrier way to help improve FLOSS apps – AppStream metadata: Round 1

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OSS

Do you love free and open source software? Would you like to help make it better, but don’t have the technical skills to know where you can jump in and help out? Here is a fantastic opportunity!

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Docker acquires London startup Orchard Laboratories

Filed under
OSS

The open source engine Docker announced Wednesday that it has acquired London-based Orchard Laboratories, makers of the Orchard and Fig applications. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

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Firefox OS-based Chromecast Competitor Coming Soon

Filed under
Linux
Moz/FF

The details were unclear back in late June, but it looked like Mozilla may have been playing some role in delivering a competitor to Google's popular Chromecast dongle, with Mozilla's based on the Firefox OS platform. The rumors abated shortly after they arose, but some people missed the fact that Mozilla confirmed the news in a recent blog post, noting the following: "Mozilla is working with Panasonic to develop next generation SmartTVs running Firefox OS, and Abitcool will launch an HDMI streaming device later this year that allows the user to fling content from compatible mobile or Web apps to an HDTV."

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How open source launched my small business

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OSS

Open source hardware has truly changed my life. It allowed me to launch my own business. "How so," you might ask? Well, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we?

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MakerBot Offers Lessons in Open Source Innovation with Linux

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Linux

Earlier this month, Home Depot began selling MakerBot's Linux-based 3D printers in a handful of stores across the U.S. after a 3-month trial run online. The big box pilot is not only testing consumer appetite for 3D printing hardware, but also the viability of open source design among a general population of consumers.

Together with the Replicator printers' relatively small size and price tag, MakerBot's design software and online Thingiverse community lower the barrier to creation and sharing for thousands of professionals and hobbyists alike. As a result, the MakerBot open source design community has quickly grown – though not without some difficulties.

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Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives

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Red Hat

For each new Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, a new version of Oracle Linux is never far behind, and RHEL 7 is no exception.

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The world's most secure OS may have a serious problem

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Debian

The Tails operating system is one of the most trusted platforms in cryptography, favored by Edward Snowden and booted up more than 11,000 times per day in May. But according to the security firm Exodus Intelligence, the program may not be as secure as many thought. The company says they've discovered an undisclosed vulnerability that will let attackers deanonymize Tails computers and even execute code remotely, potentially exposing users to malware attacks. Exodus is currently working with Tails to patch the bug, and expects to hand over a full report on the exploit next week.

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It’s now easier to install SailfishOS on Android devices

Filed under
Android
Linux

Sailfish OS is a new venture by ex-nokia employees which aims to bring a new independent partner friendly mobile operating system to wireless devices. However, as the mobile ecosystem today is quite fragmented, a new OS brings in a lot of work for developers to port the new OS in their existing devices. The Sailfish OS team knew this problem and have come out with a Hardware Adaptation Dev kit which will help developers to port and run Sailfish OS on any device capable of running Cyanogen Mod 10.1.x.

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Netrunner 14 - KDE for the Everyday Linux User

Filed under
KDE

This is the year of Linux for the everyday user.

I have already written reviews for Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17 and they are both exceptionally good for the average computer user.

This review is about Netrunner 14.

There are two versions of Netrunner available. This article looks at the Standard Release which is based on Kubuntu 14.04. The other version is a rolling release based on Manjaro.

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KDE’s semantic desktop: Nepomuk vs. Baloo

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KDE

One of the most disliked features of the early KDE SC 4 releases was the developers' attempt to establish the semantic desktop. The tools to further this goal are Nepomuk and Akonadi. While Nepomuk tries to interconnect meta data from different desktop applications, Akonadi is a service that stores and retrieves data from PIM applications like mail, calendar and contacts. Together, they pave the road to allow users to find data, structured and connected by tags, ratings and comments, covering different file formats. On top of that, Strigi performs the indexing that enables users to find data with simple search terms in KDE's file manager Dolphin.

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