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04.14.14

Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

Posted in News Roundup at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

High End

Old Computers

Single-purpose

  • GParted Live 0.18.0-2 Arrives with a New Linux Kernel, 3.13.7

    GParted Live, a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution for x86-based computers that can be used for creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions with the help of tools that allow managing filesystems, is now at version 0.18.0-2.

  • Clonezilla Live 2.2.2-35 Distro for Backup Is Ready for Testing

    “The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian Sid repository, as of April 7, 2014,” reads the official changelog.

    The Linux kernel has remained the same, 3.13.6, and this is one of the most recent ones available. It’s very likely that the next development version will feature Linux kernel 3.14.

Distrohopping

  • Opinion: Desktop spin laws that need to go away

    Various distro spin makers have made two unwritten laws that I very much disagree with:

    A) A distro spin of desktop blah should have only programs built with the same widget library that desktop blah uses

    B) A distro spin should only ship / pre-install one program for each application category

    I mention this because I’m a big KDE fan but KDE-only distro spins do not include my preferred browser (Firefox) nor my preferred office suite (LibreOffice, not that I use an office suite much) because they aren’t QT-native applications. While LibreOffice does a better job of integrating with KDE than Firefox does, both drag with them quite a bit of GTK baggage… which is considered “bloat” by many spin makers.

  • Do distrohoppers have too many choices?

CAELinux

SparkyLinux

  • Inside SparkyLinux – An interview with Pawel “Pavroo” Pijanowski

    I think it started when I installed the same Linux distribution with the same set of applications, configuration and layout as mine, to my wife’s and then to my colleague’s computers. Then somebody asked me why should I not try to share my point of view with more people.

  • SparkyLinux 3.3.2-test1 Base Edition Is for Command-Line Aficionados

    The SparkyLinux 3.3 “Annagerman” system is built on Debian GNU/Linux “Jessie,” just like the previous versions. The developer usually releases versions with various desktop environments, but this is just the Base, which means that it’s only for command-line fans.

AVLinux

Arch Family

Fedora

Debian Family

Ubuntu and Derivatives

  • Todo Indicator: Ubuntu AppIndicator For todo.txt
  • Pimp Your Ubuntu Desktop and Derivatives with Numix Icon Packs

    Numix Icon Packs is a small project developed by Numix project team focused to create high quality GTK themes and icons for Linux desktop. Their goal is to make a “difference” in theming and to present you a modern and stylish desktop without damaging its usability while at it, and quite frankly, up until now they seem to have done a pretty great job.

  • Tesla Model S owners hack their cars, find Ubuntu

    After wiring into the car’s communications system, forum user “nlc” was able to find a number of ports and tap into the data flowing to the center console and navigation screens. Others soon joined in the fun and amongst the slightly esoteric bits of information the “hackers” eventually discovered was that the sub-system runs on a version of Ubuntu operating system, which is a Linux variant.

  • One Week Until Lubuntu 14.04: Lightweight, LTS, Tidy [Overview with Screenshots]

    With Ubuntu 14.04 closing in to the release date, which is set for April 17th, I took Lubuntu for a spin from the daily live ISO image. Lubuntu is the most lightweight distribution in the Ubuntu family (the other one being Xubuntu which uses Xfce), using LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), as well as a set of applications intended to be low on resources.

  • Thinking of Trying Linux Mint 16 Cinnemon on Old Systems

    Okay, I have two socket 939 machines with XP collecting dust. Nevertheless they are quite stable and more than meets the requirements to run any version of Linux.

    One has four gigs of RAM and the other two and both processors are AMD. I was wondering what you think of Mint and if there is another version of Linux you would recommend for the beginner.

Gentoo Family

PCLinuxOS

  • The HP Pavilion Laptop is Back

    I will have to migrate it to a newer version of PCLOS. But I will do that during Easter. The thing is, I am not sure if I want to do it. The current install of PCLOS has everything I need to work and play (it even runs the game Braid on Desura), so… why fixing it if it is not broken?

Slackware Family

  • VectorLinux 7.1 RC Is a Light Distro Compatible with Slackware 14.1

    “We include Xfce4, the gimp, firefox, cups, exaile, popular multimedia plugins, and many other programs to maximize the desktop experience. Also new is an update to our very own installer, this was written from scratch and is a major improvement from previous installers. This is a RC release so final is soon to follow after initial peer testing,” notes the developer in the official announcement.

  • Salix MATE 14.1 Beta 1 Is Based on MATE 1.8

    Salix MATE 14.1 Beta 1, a GNU/Linux distribution based on Slackware that is simple, fast, easy to use, and based on the MATE desktop environment, is ready for testing and download.

  • Zenwalk 7.4 is ready!

GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Karen Sandler

  • The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money

    The GNOME Foundation has run into cash flow problems and as a result is freezing non-essential expenses. The GNOME Foundation has eliminated their cash reserves leading to this dire situation, but should be recoverable in the months ahead. The GNOME Foundation got into this situation through its Outreach Program for Women (OPW) and managing the program (and funds) for a number of other participating organizations. The GNOME Foundation staff and board fell behind in their processes with being overwhelmed by administering OPW. GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women is explained as “The Outreach Program for Women (OPW) helps women (cis and trans) and genderqueer get involved in free and open source software.” They’ve had around 30 interns for their most recent cycle.

  • Karen Sandler joins Conservancy’s Management Team

    Software Freedom Conservancy has announced that Karen M. Sandler is the Conservancy’s new Executive Director. “Bradley M. Kuhn, outgoing Executive Director, gratefully passes the torch to his long-time colleague Karen Sandler. While Kuhn’s work as Conservancy’s President and on its Board of Directors remain unchanged, Kuhn’s new full-time staff role is titled “Distinguished Technologist”.”

  • Karen Sandler joins Conservancy’s Management Team

    Software Freedom Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity based in New York, announced today the addition of a talented new member of its management team. Karen M. Sandler, formerly Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, begins today as Conservancy’s new Executive Director.

Mutter-Wayland

  • GNOME Aims To Get Mutter-Wayland Running With LLVMpipe

    GNOME’s Mutter-Wayland compositor requires EGL/KMS rendering back-end support and this currently isn’t supported by software-based drivers that aren’t backed by an actual GPU with hardware acceleration. However, developers are working to allow the swrast driver and LLVMpipe to work with this back-end rather than adding any FBdev/Pixman support to Mutter-Wayland. The primary use-case is to get Mutter-Wayland running in virtual machines where there is no accelerated GPU driver with DRM/KMS support (i.e. mainly outside of VMware’s VMWgfx world).

  • Mutter-Wayland Merged Into Mutter

    Wayland branch is now (yesterday) merged into Mutter master and that also brought some small changes to GNOME Shell, i.e, changes in build, changes on checking when Wayland is the compositor.

Software

West Coast Summit

Participation

  • gnome code assistance
  • Enabling Participation

    With 3.12 out the door, it’s time to think about what we want to be doing for 3.14. I have a long list of design projects that I want to work on for the next release, but I also want to spend some time on how the GNOME project is working and how we can improve it.

    One of my reoccurring interests is how we, as a project, can ensure that each module is in a healthy state. We want modules to have active developer teams around them, and we want it to be easy for people to get involved – not just because it is good for our software, but also because openness is an important part of our mission.

    This interest in helping people to contribute isn’t just reserved for new, inexperienced contributors. There are experienced coders out there who are interested in GNOME but haven’t found a way in. Even members of the GNOME project itself don’t always know how to contribute to different apps and modules.

Misc. GStreamer Developments

  • OpenGL support in GStreamer

    Previously there were a few sinks based on OpenGL (osxvideosink for Mac OS X and eglglessink for Android and iOS), but they all only allowed rendering to a window. They did not allow rendering of a video into a custom texture that is then composited inside the application into an OpenGL scene. And then there was gst-plugins-gl, which allowed more flexible handling of OpenGL inside GStreamer pipelines, including uploading and downloading of video frames to the GPU, provided various filters and base classes to easily implement shader-based filters, provided infrastructure for sharing OpenGL contexts between different elements (even if they run in different threads) and also provided a video sink. The latter was now improved a lot, ported to all the new features for hardware integration and finally merged into gst-plugins-bad. Starting with GStreamer 1.4 in a few weeks, OpenGL will be a first-class citizen in GStreamer pipelines.

  • GStreamer 1.4 Will Make OpenGL A First-Class Citizen

    The GStreamer 1.4 release that will happen in a few weeks time is officially making OpenGL a “first class citizen” and can be used by all platforms / operating systems supporting this open-source multimedia framework.

KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

Posted in News Roundup at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kubuntu

  • Taking Kubuntu 14.04 for a Spin: What’s Up in KDE 4.13?

    Kubuntu versions usually ship with a pretty standard set up of KDE, and Trusty makes no exception. You will find the clean, default and usual KDE interface, but fear not, for it is highly configurable and you can practically make it look and behave in any way you like it. Kubuntu Trusty will ship in four days with one of the latest and bleeding edge versions of KDE, 4.13.0.

  • Install Kubuntu on Windows XP systems

    Windows XP has officially died today as Microsoft pulls the plugs that leaves millions of users as juicy targets for crackers and cyber criminals and there will be massive attacks on these systems so it’s extremely important for Windows XP users to move away from this dead OS. There are two options for such users – either they upgrade to heavily criticized Windows 8 (which may not even work on their current hardware) or they simply move to Linux.

KDE Applications

  • Interview with Tago Franceschi

    In 2005, a friend told me about Ubuntu, and since then I discover it. I love the open source philosophy, I think it’s a great project and all those who participate are awesome people!

  • KDE software on Mac OS X

    As I probably already mentioned somewhere there is currently quite some energy going into the work of bringing more and better KDE applications to the Mac platform.

  • Recent Dolphin bug fixes
  • [Kate] Coming in 4.13: Improvements in the project plugin

    The project plugin works by automatically reading a simple json file and providing the information found there to various parts and plugins in Kate.

  • Krita: Russian Translations Updated!

    Thanks to Georgiy Syptchenko from Krita Russian Community [0] Krita’s translations into Russian got significantly improved recently!

  • New KMyMoney website

    For a long time now we have had kmymoney.org, and used that in all our documentation. That has made it easy to change now. After migrating all useful content from the Sourceforge site, all we had to was change the IP address in the DNS and, voilá! the new site is online.

04.13.14

Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

Posted in News Roundup at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Snowden and Journalists

Reform

  • Silicon Valley could force NSA reform, tomorrow. What’s taking so long?

    With Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras triumphantly returning to the US to accept the Polk Award with Barton Gellman and Ewan MacAskill yesterday, maybe it’s time we revisit one of their first and most important stories: how much are internet companies like Facebook and Google helping the National Security Agency, and why aren’t they doing more to stop it?

  • Behind Closed Doors, Google and Facebook Are Fighting Efforts to Stop NSA Spying

    Revelations about the National Security Agency’s most controversial surveillance program, which centers on the bulk collection of hundreds of billions of records of Americans’ phone conversations, were quickly greeted with calls for reform by major internet powerhouses like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo last year. But all four companies, along with dozens of other major tech firms, are actively opposing an initiative to prevent NSA spying known as the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, leaning on secretive industry lobbying groups while they profess outrage in official statements.

  • NSA will still be involved

    The recent ruling by the Obama administration that telecom carriers, rather than the National Security Agency, would be responsible for warehousing telephone metadata is a complete joke.

  • The Fourth Amendment Shell Game

    One of Obama’s NSA reforms just makes the problem worse.

Obama

  • Obama Lets N.S.A. Exploit Some Internet Flaws, Officials Say

    But Mr. Obama carved a broad exception for “a clear national security or law enforcement need,” the officials said, a loophole that is likely to allow the N.S.A. to continue to exploit security flaws both to crack encryption on the Internet and to design cyberweapons.

  • NSA allowed to keep secret some Internet security flaws, officials say

    Stepping into a heated debate within the nation’s intelligence agencies, President Barack Obama has decided that when the National Security Agency discovers major flaws in Internet security, it should — in most circumstances — reveal them to assure that they will be fixed, rather than keep mum so that the flaws can be used in espionage or cyberattacks, senior administration officials said Saturday.

Cost Analysis

  • Exploring the Effect of NSA Disclosures on the U.S. Technology Industry

    This past Monday, I had the honor of moderating a panel organized by students at the American University Washington College of Law’s National Security Law Brief, on Understanding the Global Implications of the NSA Disclosures on the U.S. Technology Industry. The panel (Elizabeth Banker (ZwillGen), David Fagan (Covington), Joseph Moreno (Cadwalader), Gerard Stegmaier (Wilson Sonsoni) and Lawrence Greenberg (Motley Fool)) was stacked with practitioners who are navigating, on a daily basis, issues related to data privacy, transparency, and cooperation with law enforcement/government requests, among other related issues. As we explored during the discussion, there are a number of recent media and other reports describing the “fallout” for U.S. industry as a result of the disclosures. So, at least two questions arise: first, are the reports to be believed, and second, if so, will there be a lasting impact, or is this only temporary?

Japan

  • Abe’s NSA? The Japanese Government Embraces Secrecy

    Last December the ruling Liberal Democratic Party rammed one of the most controversial bills in Japan’s postwar history through the Diet, or parliament, with an uncharacteristic lack of debate. The “Protection of Specially Designated Secrets Act” passed even as opposition politicians knocked over desks, chairs, and one another while trying to reach the podium to block it. Outside, nearly 10,000 protesters formed a human chain around the government building and chanted, “No Return to Fascism!”

Germany/Europe

Deception

  • NSA Blows Its Own Top Secret Program in Order to Propagandize

    The NSA engages in this fear-mongering not only publicly but also privately. As part of its efforts to persuade news organizations not to publish newsworthy stories from Snowden materials, its representatives constantly say the same thing: If you publish what we’re doing, it will endanger lives, including NSA personnel, by making people angry about what we’re doing in their countries and want to attack us.

  • NSA general warrants are a crime

    Last week, National Intelligence Director Gen. James R. Clapper sent a brief letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he admitted that agents of the National Security Agency (NSA) have been reading innocent Americans’ emails and text messages and listening to digital recordings of their telephone conversations that have been stored in NSA computers, without warrants obtained pursuant to the Constitution. That the NSA is doing this is not newsworthy — Edward Snowden has told the world of this during the past 10 months. What is newsworthy is that the NSA has admitted this, and those admissions have far-reaching consequences.

    Since the Snowden revelations first came to light last June, the NSA has steadfastly denied them. Clapper has denied them. The recently retired head of the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander, has denied them. Even President Obama has stated repeatedly words to the effect that “no one is reading your emails or listening to your phone calls.”

  • NSA TAO: What Tailored Access Operations unit means for enterprises

    It was recently revealed that the NSA’s top-secret offensive security unit, a specially designed hacking group, can infiltrate systems at the speed of light through everything from satellite and fiber-optic connections

Data ‘Leaks’

Turkey

PRISM CCTV

  • Google wants to trademark ‘Glass’ but bid stalled

    Google is trying hard to register ‘Glass’ as a trademark for its wearable computer glasses. However, the search giant hasn’t been able to get through its bid with the US trademark office.

  • Anyone in the US can purchase Glass for one day
  • For one day, Google will let anyone in the US buy Glass

    Google is about to make its biggest push yet to get Glass in the hands of as many people as possible. The Verge has obtained documents indicating that the company will open up its “Explorer Program” and make Glass available to anyone who wants to purchase a pair, possibly as soon as next week. It’ll be a limited-time offer, only available for about a day, and only US residents will be eligible to purchase the $1,500 device. Google will also include a free sunglass shade or one of its newly-introduced prescription glasses frames along with any purchase. An internal Google slide shows that the promotion may be announced on April 15th, though all the details of this program have yet to be finalized.

Ukraine

  • Ukraine fails to break stalemate with pro-Russian protesters in east

    Arseniy Yatsenyuk promises devolution to local government in hope of staving off demands for their independence from Kiev

  • The hypocrisy of some nations

    World attention has focused on Ukraine recently. With President Victor Yanukovych making his exit and a new government formed, events shifted to Crimea, with accusations that the Russian military took over the region.

    [...]

    The US has also come under attack from human rights groups for its use of drones against suspected terrorists but which has also killed many civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
    Recently, the UN Human Rights Council published a Special Rapporteur’s report which detailed the deaths of civilians caused by US drone attacks, and raised many questions of possible violations of international human rights law.

Torture

Drones

  • How Many People Did Drones Kill Last Year? This Congressman Wants to Know.

    Schiff is co-sponsoring the drones report bill with an unlikely ally, Rep. Walter Jones. The North Carolina Republican is a mostly staunch conservative and Schiff a reliable Democratic vote on contentious issues. But Jones has broken with Republicans sharply in recent years over civil liberties issues and foreign policy generally.

  • Amy Bennett: Congress should fix Freedom of Information Act

    The Freedom of Information Act is a critical law for making sure the public has a fighting chance to get copies of records the government might not want it to see. For more than 40 years, people have used the FOIA to uncover evidence of government waste, fraud, abuse and illegality. More benignly, FOIA has been used to better understand the development and effects — positive and negative — of the federal government’s policies.

  • CIA profiling reminds US Arabs of the Mukhabarat

    Because Arab Americans and American Muslims have been waiting to see when the Obama administration would finally act to end Bush-era ethnic and religious profiling guidelines and practices, I was troubled to read press ­accounts this week indicating that US ­attorney general Eric Holder may be proposing to keep in place many of the programmes that have so compromised our rights. American Arabs have been waiting for five years for the administration to end these practices. Now we fear that they may not.

  • “Off With His Head:” Court Upholds Obama’s Power to Kill
  • Al-Aulaqi lawsuit dismissal gives U.S. government total authority
  • From Drone Strikes To Lost Luggage, How International Law Affects Global Decision-Making

    …United States’ earliest days, the country tried to win the respect of the world by faithfully adhering to international law.

  • Britain increasingly stripping its people of citizenship

    Mohamed Sakr and Bilal al-Berjawi had been friends since childhood, and they were both stripped of their citizenship within months of each other. After losing their citizenship, both were targeted for drone strikes. It took two separate attempts to kill al-Berjawi, while Sakr was successfully killed with one bombing. American officials, who supplied the drones, and British officials have denied the accusation that the governments are attempting to skirt due process laws by removing citizenship prior to assassination, though they did admit that the same intelligence may have led to both actions.

  • Federal Court: Drone Killing of U.S. Citizens Is Constitutional

    On April 4, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s killing of three American citizens in two drone strikes in 2011.

    The complaint was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of the families of Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, and Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son.

  • Victims of US drones in Yemen demand justice

    Relatives of victims of US drone strikes in Yemen have come together and formed the National Organisation for Drones Victims aimed at crusading against the controversial US programme and bringing justice to victims.

    [...]

    Al Gawili said that he lost two of his relatives in a drone strikes in Khawalan, northern Yemen in January last year. He said that his relatives had nothing to do with Al Qaida and were hit by drones when they were dropping unidentified passengers off another area”.

Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jolla

WebOS

Firefox OS

  • Firefox OS 2.0 starts emerging from its cocoon

    Firefox OS 2.0 plans include copy and paste support, a new mechanism for launching apps and switching among them, a more useful lock screen, a find-my phone system, and more. Those features will be crucial to the success of the nascent OS, which lags Android and iOS by years but which is critical to Mozilla’s continued relevance.

  • Leaked Firefox OS 2.0 screenshots show slicker UI

    The images display a new lockscreen, as well as new SMS interfaces and other features. It’s a flatter look, with more transparencies, among other changes. There’s also a view of the EverythingMe-based context-sensitive search function.

  • Firefox OS 2.0 Is Taking Shape
  • Firefox OS 2.0 Will Have An Awesome Graphical User Interface
  • Geeksphone Revolution Has Been Made Available On New European Markets, Via Amazon

    Despite the fact that the newest Firefox OS version available on devices is Firefox OS 1.3, a preview of Firefox OS 2.0 is already available and it looks quite awesome, for an OS targeting low-range and mid-range devices.

  • Geeksphone Selling Phone in Europe That Runs Firefox OS and Android

    There have been a lot of interesting developments surrounding Mozilla’s Firefox OS platform and smartphones built on it. Mozilla made clear at the recent Mobile World Congress conference that it wants to seed a market for $25 phones based on the platform, putting smartphones in the hands of many people who haven’t owned mobile phones before. And, a while back, I covered Geeksphone’s concept for a high-end Firefox OS phone called Revolution that would purportedly run both Mozilla’s platform and Android. Now, the Geeksphone Revolution, an Android smartphone on which it is easy to install Firefox OS, has gone on sale in France, Germany and the U.K. Some reports say that it will also go on sale in Italy.

Google’s Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Swisscom

FireTV

  • Koushik Dutta releases AllCast beta for Amazon FireTV

    It’s interesting to note that, according to Koush, the APK is the “regular Android APK,” and can be used to mirror your Android phone with any other suitable Android device. As we all know, the Fire TV does run on Android and although, on the surface, it may not be immediately familiar to most Android users, its roots are the same and have allowed the app to work seamlessly.

Android TV

  • Android TV: a brief history of Google’s battle for the living room
  • Leaked images and video show simplified Android TV UI

    Rumors of the impending sunsetting of Google TV have been around at least since September when Sony, Google’s most stalwart partner for its struggling, Android-based Google TV, announced a Bravia Smart Stick media player. Sony noted “Google services” but never mentioned Google TV. The trend was confirmed by several unnamed Google TV partners in an October report by GigaOM that cited the “Android TV” name. In December, when Marvell announced an Android 4.2.2-ready, Armada 1500 Plus SoC update to the official SoC of Google TV — the Armada 1500 — the Android TV term was used again.

  • Leaked Android TV screenshots show simplified UI

    Leaked images of Google’s new Android TV user interface show a more streamlined and intuitive approach to the big screen than Google TV.

  • Exclusive: this is Android TV
  • Android TV could rock Amazon and Apple’s worlds

    The Verge reports that Google is getting ready to launch Android TV, a set top box based on Android that comes complete with apps and games. The new device is said to have an entertainment-focused interface, and it will be geared toward getting content in front of the user with three clicks or less. Such a product could prove to be a very tough competitor for Amazon’s Fire TV and the Apple TV. It looks like Google is declaring war on Apple and Amazon for control of the living room.

Android in Home-centric Form Factors

  • How to Turn your Android Device into a Dynamic Photo Frame

    Photographs serve as our best memories. Through good times and some great times, photographs stay with us etching our emotions deftly onto a little piece of paper. Over the years, photographs have gone a major transformation. Few years ago, taking a photo meant that you had some memory that you thought would be worth sharing. You took a picture and then kept it with you for the rest of your life. These days, taking a picture is all about getting the maximum likes on Facebook or Instagram. Oh, and there’s the bizarre trend of “selfies” that well, isn’t that cool as you might think.

  • Hackable home automation controller runs Android

Laptops

  • Is Android good enough to be a laptop OS?

    So the question is, what would Android need to do to make it a great laptop operating system? The biggest thing missing, in my opinion, is bringing great desktop apps to this OS through the same Play Store. Just like you install Chrome for smartphones, there should be an option to install Chrome Desktop for the same touchscreen devices—this app, however, would need to be made for keyboard usage.

Tablets

Nikon (Microsoft-taxed)

  • Nikon launches Android powered Coolpix S810c

    Nikon has launched the Coolpix S810, which packs in all the technology Nikon is famous for along with the most popular operating for smart devices – Android. It is a simple point and shoot camera powered by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Samsung (Microsoft-taxed)

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 also region-locked, here are the details
  • Samsung adding anti-theft solutions to smartphones

    Samsung Electronics will add two safeguards to its latest smartphone in an effort to deter rampant theft of the mobile devices nationwide, the company said Friday.

  • Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone hits stores around the world

    Samsung Galaxy S5 is the fastest smartphone available in the market right now. Galaxy S5 has top of the line Qualcomm 2.5 GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 chipset along with 2GB of RAM. The internal storage include options for 16GB or 32GB expandable up to 64GB using microSD. It features a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display with FULL HD resolution of 1920×1080. The smartphone is running the latest Android KitKat 4.4. Special features include fingerprint sensor, heart-rate monitor, health-centric apps and water- as well as dust-resistant body. The device is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery.

  • Samsung might have fixed the Gear Fit’s biggest problem

    The Gear Fit is the first wearable device from a major manufacturer to truly look like it’s come from the future, though its warm reception was colored by one universal complaint: the orientation of the screen. Displaying the time, messages, and all your health data horizontally makes the wrist-worn device somewhat awkward to read, but Samsung hasn’t been deaf to the criticism. The company’s issued a patch to enable vertical display orientation, making for a more familiar reading experience when consulting the fitness band. This could be a great boon in Korea — where the updated UI first appeared on Samsung’s official store blog — but the narrowness of the screen may pose a challenge when displaying longer pieces of text in the Latin alphabet.

Project Ara

Security

Misc.

  • Google Starts Early Dogfooding Of Android 4.4.3, Public Release Expected In Coming Weeks

    Android 4.4.3, also known as KitKat MR2 (Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 are known as KitKat MR1), has entered the dogfooding stage and has started rolling out to 1% of Google employees outside of the Android team. Currently, the dogfooding rollout is limited to the supported Nexus line (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013, and Nexus 10), with GPE and Moto X updates to follow.

  • Huawei Ascend Y530, First Take: Entry-level smartphone with ‘simple’ Android UI option

    It isn’t easy being an Android smartphone maker these days. Your flagship handsets are scrutinised for cutting-edge features, yet they’re criticised if these features seem to be unnecessary, or are unnecessarily complicated.

    Ever faster multicore processors are sometimes deemed by reviewers to be faster than needed, with the trade-off between power consumption and responsiveness often cited. Higher-resolution screens can be dismissed, as there comes a point where pixel count goes beyond being a factor in smooth text and graphics rendition. What’s a manufacturer to do in the face of such criticism?

Chrome OS

  • Google adds more Android features to Chrome OS

    Chromebooks are also getting support for folders in launcher. What it means is that now, like Android, you can create folders and club your apps in a much organzied manner. Google has also implemented the “OK Google” search feature with the launcher and the voice search can be triggered with hotword “Ok Google”. Google has also implemented support for ‘Captive Portal’ which makes it easier for users when they try to connect to the wireless of cafes, hotels, airports, and other locations which requiers them to go to an authentication page.

  • We May See Chrome OS Tablets Arrive Soon

    As Chromebooks–portable computers based on Google’s Chrome OS platform–continue to carve out a healthy niche for themselves, there are strong signs that we are soon going to see Chrome OS tablets. This, of course, has been in the rumor mill for some time. Last October, I reported on a developer-focused version of Chrome OS that included an on-screen keyboard, which of course would be ideal for use on a tablet. Now, the Chrome OS team has confirmed that the latest Stable Channel version of Chrome OS has such a keyboard, and it’s likely we’ll see tablets based on Google’s operating system soon.

  • Do you need virus protection on a Chromebook?

    What I am trying to highlight from this post is that if you use a Chromebook you have given yourself a great chance to remain safe from viruses but it doesn’t mean you should go gung-ho and believe that you are invincible online.

Chrome

Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MongoDB

NoSQL

MySQL

  • SQL and NoSQL come together with new MariaDB Enterprise offerings

    The products are based on MariaDB 10, which became generally available on Monday

  • Hyperscale Titans Team To Scale MySQL

    Four of the titans of hyperscale Web applications – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – have teamed up to create a set of common extensions aimed specifically at running the open source MySQL relational database at scale.

  • Has SkySQL MariaDB pulled off the NoSQL + SQL combo challenge?

    There is something of a war of words (and code) going on between the NoSQL and SQL database camps.

  • MariaDB Enterprise 2 Bridges The Gap Between SQL And NoSQL

    The latest release of MariaDB Enterprise removes the need to choose between different database technologies, says SkySQL

  • Oracle doubles the speed of MySQL query handling

    For the next release of its open source MySQL, Oracle is making a number of changes designed to vastly boost the speed of the open source relational database management system.

    Such a sizeable performance bump could help organizations save money in server purchases, because it would require fewer servers to run large jobs. Or, it will allow them to run complex queries that might have taken too long to run on earlier versions of the database system, said Tomas Ulin, Oracle vice president of MySQL engineering.

    On Monday, the company released the latest development version of the software, MySQL Development Milestone 5.7.4, along with a number of associated programs for managing the database. The last major version of MySQL, version 5.6, was released in February 2013.

  • The MariaDB Foundation Announces General Availability of MariaDB 10

    London, United Kingdom – 31 March 2014 – The MariaDB Foundation, an independent body which promotes the popular open source database MariaDB, today announced the much-anticipated general availability of MariaDB 10, providing today’s generation of application developers with enhanced performance and functionality.

WebScaleSQL

CitusDB. Oracle, PostgreSQL…

Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

Posted in News Roundup at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sharing textbooks

  • New open-source strategy would drop textbook costs to $0

    These open-source textbooks have different features that electronic versions sold by traditional publishers

  • University Of Maryland Explores Open Source Textbooks

    Why not jump aboard the open source bandwagon since the world does seem to be moving in that general direction as well in tech matters? That is what the University of Maryland is currently considering, to make use of open source textbooks since textbooks happen to be the single fastest growing expense for college students, apart from the constant twin thorns of rent and cost of living. Many other universities too, are looking for a solution when it comes to textbooks, and the University of Maryland would not be the first to implement such an idea since both the University of California and the University of Washington have already kicked off programs to offer their students a catalog of free and freely available open source textbooks.

  • Open education resources combat high textbook prices

    Eben Upton is best known as the man behind the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, $25 computer designed to help turn kids into programmers. Upton priced it at $25 because he thought that’s around what an average textbook cost: “I now understand that’s an incorrect estimate. If we had a better idea of what school textbooks cost we would have had an easier job with the engineering over the years,” he joked to Wired years later.

  • The inside story of MIT and Aaron Swartz
  • Open-source textbooks in policy focus

    Fed up with academic textbooks making constant but minor updates, adding unnecessary chapters and providing unwanted worksheets, Scott Roberts was desperate for a new way to teach his PSYC 100: Introduction to Psychology class.

    In the fall of 2010, he found a solution that not only relieved his frustrations but also saved his students money.

  • New ‘open-source’ strategy would drop college textbook costs to zero

    Holding a whiteboard, the University of Maryland-College Park students scrawled their complaints and posed for a picture.

    “My name is Justin and I spent $114 on ONE textbook,” a student wrote. “My name is Jeff and I spent $736 on textbooks,” wrote another.

Academia

  • London Book Fair 2014: Open Source for an Open Publishing Ecosystem: Readium.org Turns One

    Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the formation of the Readium Foundation (Readium.org), an independent nonprofit launched in March 2013 with the objective of developing commercial-grade open source publishing technology software. The overall goal of Readium.org is to accelerate adoption of ePub 3, HTML5, and the Open Web Platform by the digital publishing industry to help realize the full potential of open-standards-based interoperability. More specifically, the aim is to raise the bar for ePub 3 support across the industry so that ePub maintains its position as the standard distribution format for e-books and expands its reach to include other types of digital publications.

  • Shame On Nature: Academic Journal Demanding Researchers Waive Their Own Open Access Policy

    We’ve been talking a lot about the power and importance of open access for academic (and especially government funded) research. More and more universities have agreed, with some even having general open access policies for their academics, requiring them to release research under open access policies. This makes sense, because one of the key aspects of education and knowledge is the ability to share it freely and to build on the work of others. Without open access, this is made much more difficult. So it’s immensely troubling to discover that one of the biggest science publishers out there, Nature Publishing Group, has started telling academics that they need to get a “waiver” from their university’s open access policies. The issue was raised by Duke’s Scholarly Communications Officer, Kevin Smith, though it’s likely happening at other universities as well:

  • German University Tells Elsevier ‘No Deal’

    In the latest skirmish between academia and publishers over the costs of academic journals, the University of Konstanz in Germany has broken off negotiations over a new licensing agreement with the scientific publisher Elsevier. The publisher’s prices are too high, said university Rector Ulrich Rüdiger in a statement, and the institution “will no longer keep up with this aggressive pricing policy and will not support such an approach.”

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