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FastComputer: Fussy but Fixable
January 20, 2017
FastComputer Linux is a disappointing experience that almost fails. It is poorly designed, has little community support, and lacks its own home base and identity, all of which contribute to an identity crisis. Its home -- on Sourceforge.com -- lacks much in attractiveness, as does the distro. The Linux OS offers developers and users choice among desktop options and OS standards.
Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform Expands Cloud Options
January 18, 2017
Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4. This latest version helps organizations better embrace new Linux container technologies that can deliver innovative business applications and services without sacrificing existing IT investments. It offers dynamic storage provisioning and multitenancy for both traditional and cloud-native applications.
Devs Alerted to Long-Delayed Android Wear 2.0 Reboot
January 13, 2017
Google is moving ahead with its long-delayed launch of Android Wear 2.0, an operating system for its emerging wearables ecosystem, which finally could decouple the smartwatch from the smartphone. A notice to developers states that Android Wear 2.0 will launch in early February, Android Police reported Wednesday. Google reportedly has been working on two new smartwatches as well.
Min Browser Muffles the Web's Noise
January 9, 2017
Min is a Web browser with a minimal design that provides speedy operation with simple features. When it comes to software design, "minimal" does not mean low functionality or undeveloped potential. If you like minimal distraction tools for your text editor and note-taking applications, that same comfort appeal is evident in the Min browser. I mostly use Google Chrome, Chromium and Firefox on my desktops and laptop computers.
Google, FCA Test-Drive New Open Source Infotainment System
January 5, 2017
Google and FCA this week showcased a new in-auto infotainment platform at CES in Las Vegas. The open source system combines Uconnect with Android Auto. The companies demonstrated their concept design inside a Chrysler 300 sedan at the show. The integration of Android and Uconnect enables a system built for connectivity and compatibility with the universe of popular Android applications.
Absolute Linux Caters to the Slackware Crowd
January 3, 2017
Absolute Linux is a distro that raises the question: Is it really worth the bother? Any version of this Slackware-based Linux OS is just that -- a really big bother -- unless you love Unix-like systems that give you total control. It likely would be especially bothersome for less experienced users and for folks comfortable with Debian distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and such.
Docker Delivers Containerd to Open Source Community
December 16, 2016
Docker on Wednesday announced that it will spin out containerd, a key component of its Docker Engine, for open source use. Containerd will provide an open, stable and extensible base for building non-Docker products and container solutions, the company said. Some of the top cloud providers have committed to making contributions to the project, giving it instant credibility within the community.
CrateDB Launches Machine Data Innovations
December 14, 2016
Crate.io has announced the general availability of the first non-beta release of CrateDB 1.0, an open source SQL database that enables real-time analytics for machine data applications. CrateDB is an SQL database alternative to NOSQL machine data management solutions. It gives mainstream SQL developers access to machine data applications that previously were available only using NoSQL solutions.
Torvalds Releases Hefty Linux Kernel Update
December 13, 2016
Linus Torvalds this weekend announced Linux 4.9, which offers a number of significant upgrades to the kernel. "I'm pretty sure this is the biggest release we've ever had, at least in terms of commits," Torvalds wrote. "If you look at the number of lines changed, we've had bigger releases in the past but they've tended to be due to specific issues."
New Smartwatch OS Debuts on GitHub
December 9, 2016
Can a new smartwatch operating system based on Linux breathe some new life into the smart wearables market? Florent Revest hopes so. Revest, a French computer science student, on Wednesday announced the alpha release of AsteroidOS, an open source operating system that will run on several Android smartwatch models. Revest has been working on his OS for two years.
Android Marshmallow on PC Falls Flat
December 7, 2016
Android-x86 Project eventually may become a viable operating system alternative for your desktop and laptops computers, but it's not there yet. You will have to wait a while for the developers to fix a number of failures with the latest release upgrading Android-x86 to Marshmallow 6.0.1. Android-x86 lets you run the Android OS with the Google Chrome browser on your desktop and laptop computers.
AI Platforms Welcome Devs With Open Arms
December 6, 2016
Two leaders in the field of artificial intelligence have announced that they're open-sourcing their AI platforms. After investing in building rich simulated environments to serve as laboratories for AI research, Google's DeepMind Lab said it would open the platform for the broader research community's use. DeepMind has "only barely scratched the surface of what is possible," the team said.
Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse
December 2, 2016
Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability. Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package. Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties.
Docker, Canonical Team on Enterprise Support
December 1, 2016
Docker and Canonical on Wednesday announced a commercial agreement to integrate support for Docker Engine. The partnership gives Canonical customers a single path for support of the Ubuntu operating system and CS Docker Engine in enterprise Docker operations. It provides a streamlined operations and support experience for joint customers by splitting the service obligations in four ways.
It's All Aboard for Linux Gamers at The Final Station
November 30, 2016
The developers of The Final Station, recognizing the growing market for the post-apocalyptic train ride in the open source community, have made their hot-selling title available for the Linux OS. The indie game, which Do My Best Games and TinyBuild launched for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this summer, became available for Linux last week.
AV Linux Update: Good but Not Better
November 26, 2016
AV Linux could be a music and video lover's dream come true. AV Linux is a specialty distribution that can turn a new or old PC, or an Intel-powered Mac box, into a workstation for audio/graphics/video enthusiasts. AV Linux is one of the few available fully functional Linux distros to give audio and video enthusiasts a professional level collection of tools for handling of audio-visual files.
$5 PoisonTap Tool Easily Breaks Into Locked PCs
November 25, 2016
Proving once again that you can do a lot of damage with a little investment and a lot of ingenuity, security researcher Samy Kamkar recently managed to take down a locked, password-protected computer using a $5 Raspberry Pi. The low-tech cookie-siphoning intrusion is one of Kamkar's simplest hacks ever. He previously has unlocked car doors, garages, wireless remote cameras and other devices.
Microsoft Goes All In for Linux
November 18, 2016
While not quite at the level of a parting of the waters, the news that Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation may seem miraculous to those aware of the past enmity between the company and the open source community. Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member, it announced Wednesday at its Microsoft Connect conference in New York.
Juju Offers Speedy Model-Driven Software Approach
November 17, 2016
The Juju cloud platform developed by Canonical integrates a wide variety of cloud services and servers on both public and private clouds using an innovative model-driven software approach. That success has changed fundamentally the nature of software operations as organizations move to cloud-scale services, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.
wattOS Energizes Aging Hardware
November 15, 2016
wattOS is a stunning example of really great things coming in small packages. wattOS is a lightweight and fast desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS built around the LXDE. It uses the lightweight Openbox window manager as its default user interface. To credit this 8-year-young community of developers with birthing an energy-efficient Linux distribution is an understatement.
AWS Gives Customers On-Premises Linux Option
November 10, 2016
Amazon Web Services recently expanded its menu of cloud services to give customers the option of using the Amazon Linux AMI on premises. Customers can use the Amazon Container Image on premises for the purpose of developing and testing workloads, AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr explained. The AMI provides a stable, secure and high-performance application environment.
Ubuntu Releases IoT Core Platform
November 7, 2016
Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 16 for the Internet of Things to provide enhanced security and app store support for connected devices. The platform provides regular security updates and gives independent software vendors, manufacturers and enterprises control of system updates. Ubuntu Core 16 uses Ubuntu's snap packages technology to ensure that IoT applications access only necessary data.
Q4OS+Trinity Gives New Meaning to Lightweight
November 2, 2016
Q4OS is a lightweight Linux distro that offers some worthwhile alternatives to more established distros. Q4OS version 1.6.1 "Orion," released this summer, has as its main claim to fame the developing Trinity desktop. Trinity is a breakaway fork from the KDE 3 community. I took a detailed first look at this new distro last year, primarily to assess the Trinity desktop.
Microsoft Open Sources AI Toolkit
October 28, 2016
Microsoft has released an updated version of its Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit as an open source Beta. The deep learning system is used to speed advances in areas such as speech and image recognition and search relevance on CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. It also works with Microsoft's Azure GPU offering. The toolkit's developers initially were looking for a tool to speed up and improve their own research.
Antique Kernel Flaw Opens Door to New Dirty Cow Exploit
October 25, 2016
A Linux security vulnerability first discovered more than a decade ago once again poses a threat, Red Hat warned last week, as an exploit that could allow attackers to gain enhanced privileges on affected computers has turned up in the wild. Users need to take steps to patch their systems to prevent the exploit, known as "Dirty Cow," from granting access to unprivileged attackers.
Linux Foundation Spurs JavaScript Development
October 21, 2016
The Linux Foundation earlier this week announced the addition of the JS Foundation as a Linux Foundation project. The move is an effort to inject new energy into the JavaScript developer community. By rebranding the former JQuery foundation as the JS Foundation and bringing it under the Linux umbrella, officials hope to create some stability and build critical mass.
Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner
October 18, 2016
Maui 1, which launched this summer, is one of the latest newcomers in the continuously changing list of Linux distributions. Maui Linux, with its new Hawaii desktop environment, is a replacement and rebranding of the discontinued Netrunner project. Its developers are attempting to continue the Kubuntu-based heritage, while adopting some of the latest technologies impacting other Linux distros.
Fedora 25 Beta Resets the Linux Performance Bar
October 14, 2016
Red Hat has released the beta version of Fedora 25, an open source Linux operating system maintained by the Fedora Project community. The beta release sharpens cloud and developer features, making this Linux distro more attractive to enterprise users. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 25 comes in three editions: Cloud, Server and Workstation.
Cyanogen's Android Alternative Goes Modular
October 12, 2016
Cyanogen on Tuesday announced that it was going modular. Future releases of its open source Android alternative will not support a full stack of the Android OS. The new modular setup will bring a slew of benefits to phone makers and developers, according to Cyanogen. "The new partnership program offers smartphone manufacturers greater freedom and opportunity," noted Cyanogen CEO Lior Tal.
Google's New Fonts Chip Away at Written Language Barriers
October 10, 2016
Project Noto, one of Google's most ambitious undertakings ever, has reached a milestone: Noto now supports 800 languages and 100 writing scripts. Google and Monotype launched the open source initiative to create a typeface family that supports all the languages in the world, even rarely used languages. Both serif and sans serif letters with up to eight weights are supported.
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