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The Clear Skies Desktop

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Ami Banerji's Linux desktop is clean, simple, and pretty open. What it gives up in widgets it gets back in simplicity, and what's a good thing. Here's how to get the same look for your computer.

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Android Auto is great, but automakers are holding it back

At the LA Auto Show this week, I spent time with a recent pre-release build of Android Auto using a Nexus 5 connected to a 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It's mostly the same as the version we were shown at Google I/O in June, apart from some minor refinements. For instance, the green, circular "a" logo that appears on the phone when it's jacked into the car now reads "Android Auto," and voice-based searches no longer cause a full-screen "listening" window to pop up — you just get a little pulsing "g" in the corner. The underlying concept, though, is unchanged: it's Material Design-infused Android for your dashboard, boiled down to the basics with copious use of speech output and voice recognition so that driver distraction is kept to a bare minimum. You're also locked out of using your actual phone when Android Auto is in use, another stab at limiting distraction by keeping eyes off screens and on the road. Read more

Not just token: Red Hat's Women in Open Source Awards

DeLisa Alexander would like to make one thing clear about Red Hat's Women in Open Source Awards (WIOSA): They're not just a token gesture towards diversity. Instead, she describes them as one step in a larger, more varied strategy to increase women's participation in open source. "It's one key," says Alexander, executive vice-president and chief people officer at Red Hat. "But it's an important part of the puzzle to help tech and open source attract more talent." According to Alexander, the idea was first generated several years ago, but the company "waited until we had a larger sense of the puzzle." Read more

Why open source runs the world

GNU/Linux as an operating system and open source as a movement have become phenomenal driving forces in the technology world. Without it the internet wouldn't exist as the free and open resource we enjoy today. Read more

Google's Chrome to pull plug on plugins next September

  • Google's Chrome to pull plug on plugins next September
    Google is moving ahead with its plan to end support for Netscape plugins in its Chrome browser – and has set next September as the date for when they will stop working altogether.
  • The Final Countdown for NPAPI
    Last September we announced our plan to remove NPAPI support from Chrome, a change that will improve Chrome’s security, speed, and stability as well as reduce complexity in the code base. Since our last update, NPAPI usage has continued its decline. Given this usage data, we will continue with our deprecation plan.
  • Fair Warning: Chrome Team Starts Final Countdown for NPAPI Extensions
    As we've reported several times, Google is introducing big changes in its Chrome browser, especially when it comes to how the browser handles extensions. If you've regularly used either or both of the most popular open source Internet browsers--Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox--then you're probably familiar with the performance and security problems that some extensions for them can cause.