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8 Innovative Linux-Based Products Demoed at CES

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Linux

If you look behind the scenes of the many gadgets shown at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week you can spot Linux and open-source software almost everywhere. Here are Rudolf Streif’s top marvels from the show.

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Four Linux distros for kids

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Linux

As a big kid myself, and an open source software enthusiast for over four years now, I like exploring and experimenting with different software solutions. Pertaining to the problem of finding and setting up an ideal system for my young niece, I found that the open source Linux community has created specialized operating systems and environments for kids. Plus, setting up these systems is a breeze.

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The Top 7 Best Linux Distros for 2014

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Linux

The Linux avalanche is rolling and gathering mass and momentum. Linux won, so what's next? Amazing growth is what's next: we're at the bare beginning of the Linux juggernaut rolling into existing markets and blazing into new ones. All this growth and progress is the result of years of hard work by tens of thousands of people and billions of dollars of investment. It has reached critical mass and there is no stopping it.

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Bodhi Linux powered Chromebook Raffle

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Linux

Something you may not know about Bodhi Linux is that we are 100% funded by user donations. We do not plaster our home page or user forums with ad content like so many distros do. We are very thankful to all of the folks that donate to keep our package servers running. Towards the tail end of 2011 we raffled off a Dell Netbook to a random person who donated at least five dollars during a set period of time.

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Google acquires Nest, gains Linux IoT tech

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Linux
Google

Google’s pending $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs brings it a hot selling, Linux-based smart thermostat — and a launchpad for the Internet of Things.

Google’s stock price rose 1 percent the day after it announced it planned to acquire Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. The acquisition topped off a CES show in Las Vegas that was awash in similar, low-cost, smartphone-accessible home automation devices. Like most of these products, including Belkin’s WeMo and Ivee’s new Ivee Sleek, Nest Lab’s Learning Thermostat and runs on embedded Linux. The Nest Protect Smoke + CO Alarm lists the open source FreeBSD, NetBSD, and FreeRTOS. (See farther below for more details on the products.)

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Korora Claimed Better Fedora Than Fedora, and It’s Growing!

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Linux

Some say that Korora is better than Fedora [2], not just because of the new fantastic Web site [3] but also technical merit in the distribution itself [4].

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For Systems Administrators, GNU/Linux (and UNIX) Becomes Key Skill

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By some estimates, CentOS is the most widely used distribution of GNU/Linux (other estimates say that Debian is the most widely used, but it’s hard to verify).

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Nameless Fedora 21 Linux Is an Opportunity for Growth

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Linux

Typically, Red Hat's Fedora Linux distribution has two colorfully named releases a year, but that likely won't be the case in 2014. However, that's no reason for concern.
The Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Linux community recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, capping off a decade of releases and evolution. In 2014, Fedora could be in store for its biggest evolution since the project's creation, with fewer releases and even a new naming strategy.

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today's howtos

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • IOTA: IoT revolutionized with a Ledger
    Ever since the introduction of digital money, the world quickly came to realize how dire and expensive the consequences of centralized systems are. Not only are these systems incredibly expensive to maintain, they are also “single points of failures” which expose a large number of users to unexpected service interruptions, fraudulent activities and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious hackers. Thanks to Blockchain, which was first introduced through Bitcoin in 2009, the clear benefits of a decentralized and “trustless” transactional settlement system became apparent. No longer should expensive trusted third parties be used for handling transactions, instead, the flow of money should be handled in a direct, Peer-to-Peer fashion. This concept of a Blockchain (or more broadly, a distributed ledger) has since then become a global phenomenon attracting billions of dollars in investments to further develop the concept.
  • Return Home and Unify: My Case for Unity 8
  • Can netbooks be cool again?
    Earlier this week, my colleague Chaim Gartenberg covered a laptop called the GPD Pocket, which is currently being funded on Indiegogo. As Chaim pointed out, the Pocket’s main advantage is its size — with a 7-inch screen, the thing is really, really small — and its price, a reasonable $399. But he didn’t mention that the Pocket is the resurrection of one of the most compelling, yet fatally flawed, computing trends of the ‘00s: the netbook. So after ten years, are netbooks finally cool again? That might be putting it too strongly, but I’m willing to hope.

Linux Devices

  • Compact, rugged module runs Linux or Android on Apollo Lake
    Ubiqcomm’s 95 x 95mm, Apollo Lake-based “COM-AL6C” COM offers 4K video along with multiple SATA, USB, GbE, and PCIe interfaces, plus -40 to 85°C operation. Ubiqconn Technology Inc. has announced a “COM-AL6C” COM Express Type 6 Compact form factor computer-on-module built around Intel’s Apollo Lake processors and designed to withstand the rigors of both fixed and mobile industrial applications. The module offers a choice among three Intel Apollo Lake processors: the quad-core Atom x5-E3930, quad-core x5-E3940, and dual-core x7-E3950, which are clocked at up to 2.0GHz burst and offer TDPs from 6.5 to 12 Watts.
  • Internet-enable your microcontroller projects for under $6 with ESP8266
    To get started with IoT (the Internet of Things), your device needs, well, an Internet connection. Base Arduino microcontrollers don't have Internet connectivity by default, so you either need to add Ethernet, Wi-Fi shields, or adapters to them, or buy an Arduino that has built-in Internet connectivity. In addition to complexity, both approaches add cost and consume the already-precious Arduino flash RAM for program space, which limits what you can do. Another approach is to use a Raspberry Pi or similar single-board computer that runs a full-blown operating system like Linux. The Raspberry Pi is a solid choice in many IoT use cases, but it is often overkill when all you really want to do is read a sensor and send the reading up to a server in the cloud. Not only does the Raspberry Pi potentially drive up the costs, complexity, and power consumption of your project, but it is running a full operating system that needs to be patched, and it has a much larger attack surface than a simple microcontroller. When it comes to IoT devices and security, simpler is better, so you can spend more time making and less time patching what you already made.
  • Blinkenlights!
  • Blinkenlights, part 2
  • Blinkenlights, part 3
  • [Older] Shmoocon 2017: The Ins And Outs Of Manufacturing And Selling Hardware
    Every day, we see people building things. Sometimes, useful things. Very rarely, this thing becomes a product, but even then we don’t hear much about the ins and outs of manufacturing a bunch of these things or the economics of actually selling them. This past weekend at Shmoocon, [Conor Patrick] gave the crowd the inside scoop on selling a few hundred two factor authentication tokens. What started as a hobby is now a legitimate business, thanks to good engineering and abusing Amazon’s distribution program.
  • 1.8 Billion Mobile Internet Users NEVER use a PC, 200 Million PC Internet Users never use a mobile phone. Understanding the 3.5 Billion Internet Total Audience
    As I am working to finish the 2017 Edition of the TomiAhonen Almanac (last days now) I always get into various updates of numbers, that remind me 'I gotta tell this story'.. For example the internet user numbers. We have the December count by the ITU for year 2016, that says the world has now 3.5 Billion internet users in total (up from 3.2 Billion at the end of year 2015). So its no 'drama' to know what is 'that' number. The number of current internet total users is yes, 3.5 Billion, almost half of the planet's total population (47%).

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Rewriting the history of free software and computer graphics
    Do you remember those days in the early nineties when most screensavers were showing flying 3D metallic logotypes? Did you have one? In this article, I want to go back in time and briefly revise the period in the history of computer graphics (CG) development when it transitioned from research labs to everyone's home computer. The early and mid-1990s was the time when Aldus (before Adobe bought the company) was developing PageMaker for desktop publishing, when Pixar created ToyStory, and soon after 3D modeling and animation software Maya by Alias|Wavefront (acquired by Autodesk). It was also a moment when we got two very different models of CG development, one practiced by the Hollywood entertainment industry and one practiced by corporations like Adobe and Autodesk. By recalling this history, I hope to be able to shed new light on the value of free software for CG, such as Blender or Synfig. Maybe we can even re-discover the significance of one implicit freedom in free software: a way for digital artists to establish relations with developers. [...] The significance of free software for CG On the backdrop of this history, free software like Blender, Synfig, Krita, and other projects for CG gain significance for several reasons that stretch beyond the four freedoms that free software gives. First, free software allows the mimicking of the Hollywood industry's models of work while making it accessible for more individuals. It encourages practice-based CG development that can fit individual workflows and handle unexpected circumstances that emerge in the course of work, rather than aiming at a mass product for all situations and users. Catering to an individual's needs and adaptations of the software brings users work closer to craft and makes technology more human. Tools and individual skill can be continuously polished, shaped, and improved based on individual needs, rather than shaped by decisions "from above."
  • ONF unveils Open Innovation Pipeline to counter open source proprietary solutions
    ONF and ON.Lab claim the OIP initiative to bolster open source SDN, NFV and cloud efforts being hampered by open source-based proprietary work. Tapping into an ongoing merger arrangement with Open Networking Lab, the Open Networking Foundation recently unveiled its Open Innovation Pipeline targeted at counteracting the move by vendors using open source platforms to build proprietary solutions.
  • [FreeDOS] The readability of DOS applications
    Web pages are mostly black-on-white or dark-gray-on-white, but anyone who has used DOS will remember that most DOS applications were white-on-blue. Sure, the DOS command line was white-on-black, but almost every popular DOS application used white-on-blue. (It wasn't really "white" but we'll get there.) Do an image search for any DOS application from the 1980s and early 1990s, and you're almost guaranteed to yield a forest of white-on-blue images like these:
  • More about DOS colors
    In a followup to my discussion about the readability of DOS applications, I wrote an explanation on the FreeDOS blog about why DOS has sixteen colors. That discussion seemed too detailed to include on my Open Source Software & Usability blog, but it was a good fit for the FreeDOS blog.
  • Building a $4 billion company around open source software: The Cloudera story
    Dr Amr Awadallah is the Chief Technology Officer of Cloudera, a data management and analytics platform based on Apache Hadoop. Before co-founding Cloudera in 2008, Awadallah served as Vice President of Product Intelligence Engineering at Yahoo!, running one of the very first organizations to use Hadoop for data analysis and business intelligence. Awadallah joined Yahoo! after the company acquired his first startup, VivaSmart, in July 2000. With the fourth industrial revolution upon us—where the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres are blurred by the world of big data and the fusion of technologies—Cloudera finds itself among the band of companies that are leading this change. In this interview with Enterprise Innovation, the Cloudera co-founder shares his insights on the opportunities and challenges in the digital revolution and its implications for businesses today; how organizations can derive maximum value from their data while ensuring their protection against risks; potential pitfalls and mistakes companies make when using big data for business advantage; and what lies beyond big data analytics.
  • What we (think we) know about meritocracies
    "Meritocracy," writes Christopher Hayes in his 2012 book Twilight of the Elites, "represents a rare point of consensus in our increasingly polarized politics. It undergirds our debates, but is never itself the subject of them, because belief in it is so widely shared." Meritocratic thinking, in other words, is prevalent today; thinking rigorously about meritocracy, however, is much more rare.
  • A new perspective on meritocracy
    Meritocracy is a common element of open organizations: They prosper by fostering a less-hierarchical culture where "the best ideas win." But what does meritocracy really mean for open organizations, and why does it matter? And how do open organizations make meritocracy work in practice? Some research and thinking I've done over the last six months have convinced me such questions are less simple—and perhaps more important—than may first meet the eye.
  • OpenStack Summit Boston: Vote for Presentations
    The next OpenStack Summit takes place in Boston, MA (USA) in May (8.-11.05.2017). The "Vote for Presentations" period started already. All proposals are now again up for community votes. The period will end February 21th at 11:59pm PST (February 22th at 8:59am CEST).
  • [FOSDEM] Libreboot
    Libreboot is free/opensource boot firmware for laptops, desktops and servers, on multiple platforms and architectures. It replaces the proprietary BIOS/UEFI firmware commonly found in computers.
  • Three new FOSS umbrella organisations in Europe
    So far, the options available to a project are either to establish its own organisation or to join an existing organisation, neither of which may fit well for the project. The existing organisations are either specialised in a specific technology or one of the few technology-neutral umbrella organisations in the US, such as Software in the Public Interest, the Apache Software Foundation, or the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC). If there is already a technology-specific organisation (e.g. GNOME Foundation, KDE e.V., Plone Foundation) that fits a project’s needs, that may well make a good match.
  • ESA affirms Open Access policy for images, videos and data / Digital Agenda
    ESA today announced it has adopted an Open Access policy for its content such as still images, videos and selected sets of data. For more than two decades, ESA has been sharing vast amounts of information, imagery and data with scientists, industry, media and the public at large via digital platforms such as the web and social media. ESA’s evolving information management policy increases these opportunities. In particular, a new Open Access policy for ESA’s information and data will now facilitate broadest use and reuse of the material for the general public, media, the educational sector, partners and anybody else seeking to utilise and build upon it.
  • Key Traits of the Coming Delphi For Linux Compiler
    Embarcadero is about to release a new Delphi compiler for the Linux platform. Here are some of the key technical elements of this compiler, and the few differences compared to Delphi compilers for other platforms.