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The best open source software 2017

The term ‘open source’ refers to software whose source code is freely available to download, edit, use and share. There are different types of open source license, which give users different degrees of freedom, but the main aim of open source is to encourage collaboration. Open source software has lots of advantages over other ‘free’ options you’ll come across – even if you’re not a developer yourself. It’s usually maintained by a community and updated frequently to patch vulnerabilities or squish bugs as soon as they’re identified; there are no restrictions on commercial use, so you can happily use it for your home business; and the ability to edit the source means there’s often a wealth of user-created plugins available to download. Read more

COM duo expands upon quad -A53/FPGA Zynq UltraScale+

Enclustra unveiled two Linux-ready COMs based on the quad-core Cortex-A53 based Zynq UltraScale+ ARM/FPGA SoC with DDR4 RAM up to 8GB. Enclustra’s SODIMM-style Mars XU3 and larger Mercury+ XU1 computer-on-modules run Linux on the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. They follow Enclustra’s announcement earlier this month of a Linux-friendly Mercury+ AA1 COM running on an Intel/Altera Arria 10 ARM/FPGA hybrid. Enclustra offers several SODIMM-style Mars and larger Mercury COMs equipped with Altera and Xilinx FPGAs or FPGA/ARM hybrid SoCs, including the Altera Cyclone V based Mercury SA1. Read more

OnePlus 3T review: An excellent affordable Android handset gets even better

At the end of November last year I was sent a OnePlus 3T. This appeared relatively hot on the heels of the OnePlus 3, which I'd reviewed in the middle of 2016, judging it to be the best smartphone in its price range. Having set the OnePlus 3T up as my main handset, I've had a chance to examine it in depth over the holiday period. The OnePlus 3T is built in the same body as the OnePlus 3, but there are some significant internal upgrades, making it an altogether more capable handset than its predecessor. Although the upgraded model is more expensive, it's still much more affordable than flagship devices from the leading smartphone vendors. Read more

GNU/Linux Desktop

  • Google for Education intros two Chromebooks with stylus capability
    Schools love Chromebooks, so Google for Education has launched two new models they can choose from: the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 and the Asus Chromebook C213. Both devices have touchscreen displays and come with a low-cost stylus that resembles #2 pencils kids can use to take notes. The stylus has an eraser just like a real pencil does, though its version obviously deals with digital mistakes. Plus, kids can easily share and replace it, since it doesn't need to be charged or paired. The feature sounds especially useful for science and math subjects that require students to write out formulas and equations. As Roger Nixon, Director of ICT at Wheatley Park School, Oxford said: "Stylus on Chromebooks will be a massive help for mathematics."
  • A Pin Factory and Happy Hacking Linux
    Imagine you have a pin factory. A very simple business, you have humans and machines working together to produce pins. Your goal is to produce as much as you can within a day. Your factory needs the best workspace setup because the whole business depends on how productive your factory is. If your machines are slow, you may produce half of what your competitor can produce in a day, which means, price competition will beat you up soon. [...] This is why I created Happy Hacking Linux for all of us. It’s a new Linux distro that combines the best developer setup, so you can turn even an old desktop computer into blazing fast desktop that is designed for building software.
  • Linux: Is Xfce better than Windows 10?
    One of the best things about Linux is the range of choices it offers when it comes to desktop environments. There really is a Linux desktop for everybody out there, no matter what hardware they are using. One user recently switched to the Xfce desktop and found that it was much better than Windows 10. He shared his thoughts in a thread on the Linux subreddit.