Links 1/12/2013: Android News

Posted in News Roundup at 3:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Liberating Devices From Android Using Replicant, Not CyanogenMod

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google at 3:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Why Android is not enough and why CyanogenMod is not the solution, Replicant is

GOOGLE’S Android is Free/libre software, but the way it is set up (or bundled) by device makers, the system as a whole is far from free, both at the hardware level and the software level. Google’s “Play” — the anonymity-crushing ‘app’ store — is dominated by proprietary software and there is a lot more to be said about lack of freedom on top of Android and around it. Android — like Ubuntu — is a good step towards freedom for those who previously used Apple/Microsoft, but there are further steps necessary.

CyanogenMod is the best known Android alternative and back in September it was said to be an Android unifier, not a forker [1]. A while later (when it was becoming a well-funded company, CyanogenMod Inc.) it made everything easier to set up [2] and later it got banned from Google’s so-called ‘app’ store [3,4] (which can involve censorship, just like Apple’s).

CyanogenMod, however, was never really about freedom, not in the same sense that Replicant is. Privately, in my 2.5-hour meeting with Stallman last Friday, he suggested that I embrace Replicant, but sadly enough very few devices are formally supported by Replicant (most of them are tracking devices that can also make phonecalls). Stallman is eager to see Replicant support extending and expanding to more gadgets and in order to make Replicant stronger we need to download and use it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Cyanogen: Helping to unify Android

    Far from helping to fragment Android, the new CyanogenMod company will help unify it for both users and developers.

  2. Android ROMs, the easy way: Testing the new CyanogenMod Installer

    CyanogenMod Inc.’s new installer makes trying out Android ROMs easier than ever.

  3. CyanogenMod Installer removed from Google Play Store
  4. Google removes CyanogenMod Installer from Play Store

Links 30/11/2013: Ubuntu News

Posted in News Roundup at 2:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU/Linux in Games/Consoles Can Topple Sony and Microsoft, Pundits Say

Posted in GNU/Linux at 2:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

First the stack, later the games…

Summary: As GNU/Linux matures, attracting developers and improving freedom-respecting drivers, the threat to proprietary gaming platforms increases

The other day we pointed out that platforms for games are increasingly GNU/Linux-based. Valve might be taking GNU/Linux to the top of the gaming scene, some say [1,2], so it’s not about about indie [3], ports [4], and various cross-platform games [5,6]. It is about creating hardware stacks which are GNU/Linux-based and run very well with GNU/Linux desktops/applications. Benchmarks from Phoronix help show that Windows has lost its advantage [7], power consumption in Linux is improving [8], and Free/libre graphics drivers are rapidly maturing [9], so this needn’t require binary blobs at all, except perhaps for the games. All in all, it is exciting to see how GNU/Linux turns from underdogs in gaming to a potential leader and perhaps de facto platform. Developers of games should target GNU/Linux, not jails to their users.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Valve and Linux may defeat Microsoft and Sony in console gaming
  2. Valve and Linux Could Beat Microsoft and Sony at the Console Game
  3. Humble Mobile Bundle 3 released
  4. Starbound The Awesome Looking 2D Sandbox Game To Enter Beta Soon!
  5. Major Planetary Annihilation RTS Patch For Linux
  6. Joe Danger shifts into Linux and Mac gears
  7. Intel Linux Driver Almost Neck-And-Neck With Windows 8.1
  8. Linux 3.6 To Linux 3.13 Kernel Power Consumption Tests

    At the request of many Phoronix readers, here are some new battery power usage benchmarks on every recent Linux kernel release from Linux 3.7.0 to Linux 3.13 Git. Has an Intel “Ivy Bridge” Ultrabook’s power consumption changed much due to the continuous kernel churn? Here’s the answer.

  9. 21-Way Open-Source AMD/Intel/NVIDIA GPU Benchmarks On Linux

    If you are hoping to snag some deals on computer hardware this holiday shopping season, for helping guide you in any graphics card purchases are a fresh round of benchmarks of 21 different graphics processors from the Intel HD Graphics, AMD Radeon, and NVIDIA GeForce families tested on their respective open-source Linux graphics drivers.

Links 1/12/2013: Applications and Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 12:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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