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Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support in SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate
July 19, 2017
Microsoft has announced the availability of its first public release candidate for SQL Server 2017, which includes full support for Linux. SQL Server on Linux improves on earlier previews with several key enhancements, including active directory authentication; transport layer security to encrypt data; and SQL Server Integration Services that add support for Unicode ODBC drivers.
SharkLinux OS Is Destined for Success
July 17, 2017
SharkLinux OS is one of those very rare newcomer distributions that has "Future Big Winner" written all over it. Over my many years of reviewing Linux software and distros for Linux Picks and Pans, I have found that the story of what spurred the developer to create the distro often showcases the driving power that enables open source software. That is the case with SharkLinux OS.
Fedora 26 Powers Up Cloud, Server, Workstation Systems
July 15, 2017
The Fedora Project has announced the general availability of Fedora 26, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora OS. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 26 comprises a set of base packages that form the foundation of three distinct editions targeting different users. All three editions share a common base and some common strengths.
Microsoft Makes Room for Ubuntu at Windows Store
July 13, 2017
Microsoft this week announced the availability of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distro as a free download in the Windows Store. It can be installed on any Windows Insider build, said Microsoft Senior Program Manager Rich Turner. One of the advantages to using the Windows Store version of the Ubuntu Linux Distro is that the software can be downloaded faster and more reliably.
The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Shows Which Bits Are Boss
July 11, 2017
If you've ever been curious enough to look through your system's root directory, you may have become a little overwhelmed. Most of the three-letter directory names don't tell you much about what they do, and if you ever needed to make important modifications, it would be tough to know where to look. I'd like to take those of you who haven't ventured much into your root directory on a brief tour.
IoT Fuels Growth of Linux Malware
July 5, 2017
Malware targeting Linux systems is growing, largely due to a proliferation of devices created to connect to the Internet of Things. That is one of the findings in a report WatchGuard Technologies released last week. The report, which analyzes data gathered from more than 26,000 appliances worldwide, found three Linux malware programs in the top 10 for the first quarter of the year.
Xinix Offers Linux Lovers a Path to Zen
June 27, 2017
Xinix is an innovative newcomer to the world of Linux distros. Now in beta, this distro has been spearheaded by a single developer who slowly is bringing other programmers on board to move things along. Despite its early development status, Xinix has potential for Linux fans who like to experiment with new platform concepts and do not mind trying out an OS that is not yet fully functional.
Microsoft Expands Linux Container Support in Windows Server
June 20, 2017
Microsoft has decided to expand its support for Linux containers in the next release of Windows Server. Linux containers and workloads will work natively on Windows Server, said Erin Chapple, general manager for the server operating system. The company also will extend Window Server's Hyper-V isolation capability, which was introduced in the 2016 release of the operating system.
Rosa LXQt Edition's Flexibility Sets It Apart
June 14, 2017
The Rosa Desktop Fresh R series gets better with each new edition to its distro lineup. The already-established Rosa Desktop Fresh R was a hit with its series of standard desktop editions released with KDE4 and Plasma 5, as well as the GNOME 3 and MATE desktops. This latest LXQt edition adds the ability to run this powerhouse computing platform on legacy boxes with as little as 512 MB of RAM.
Hearing Crickets at Apple's WWDC and a Pin Drop in the Senate
June 12, 2017
The two mammoth events last week were the Apple WWDC keynote and ex-FBI chief James Comey's appearance at a Senate committee hearing. Now I'm sure a lot of folks didn't have the time to watch both events -- and particularly for the Comey event, I'm sure the coverage has the right and the left believing very different realities. Apple is becoming more and more like a typical tech firm.
Apple's iOS 11 Makes Siri a More Natural Woman... and Man
June 6, 2017
New voices for Siri and peer-to-peer payments are among the new features in the next version of Apple's mobile device operating system iOS 11, previewed at the company's annual Worldwide Development Conference on Monday. "With the new operating system, Apple has doubled down on many of the applications it has developed for iOS," said Ross Rubin, the principal analyst at Reticle Research.
With Audio Focus, Apple Side-Steps Smart Speaker Competition
June 6, 2017
Apple raised the curtain on HomePod, its upcoming smart speaker, during Monday's WWDC keynote presentation. The company also announced some desktop OS features for the iPad, and revealed its plans to become an augmented reality powerhouse. "Just like iPod reinvented music in our pockets, HomePod is going to reinvent music in our homes," said Apple SVP Phil Schiller.
BitKey Unlocks Mysteries of the Bitcoin Universe
June 1, 2017
BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution with specialist utilities for performing highly secure air-gapped bitcoin transactions. This distro is not for everyday computing needs, but if you are obsessed with the use of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it might be just what you need. I am a high-tech sort of guy with a keen interest in diving through Linux distros both simple and complex.
Red Hat Linux Upgrade Pushes New Security, Automation Tools
May 23, 2017
Red Hat on Tuesday announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 beta. RHEL 7.4 includes new security and compliance features and streamlined automation, along with tools for improved systems administration. This latest upgrade comes nearly three years into the series 7 lifecycle. It continues to provide enterprises with a rich and stable foundation.
Android at the Wheel: Google Aims for One Vehicle Ecosystem
May 20, 2017
Google showcased the next phase of its automotive strategy at its I/O conference earlier this week, and announced partnerships with Volvo and Audi, which unveiled concept vehicles running its new automotive system. Embedded Android for Automotive is an entirely new OS rather than an update to Android Auto. It will allow drivers to utilize Google services without an Android mobile device.
Feren OS: A Linux Desktop Game-Changer
May 18, 2017
Feren OS is a polished and well-stocked Linux distro that comes close to being an ideal replacement for Microsoft Windows and macOS. In fact, this impressive Linux OS is a very attractive replacement for any Linux distro. The only impediment to this assessment is dislike of the Cinnamon desktop. Feren OS does not give you any other desktop options, but it comes with many configuration choices.
Google Pushes AI, Machine Learning to the Front
May 18, 2017
Addressing thousands of developers at the annual Google I/O conference on Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the company's new strategy to transition from mobile first to artificial intelligence and machine learning. The goal is to equip the company's line of digital assistant products and services to anticipate the needs of users, and comprehend sights and sounds in new ways.
HPE Unveils Huge Single-Memory Computer Prototype
May 17, 2017
HPE on Tuesday introduced the world's largest single-memory computer as part of The Machine, its research project into memory-driven computing. The computer has 160 T-bytes of memory, and HPE expects the architecture to allow memory to scale up to 4.096 yottabytes. The memory is spread across 40 physical nodes that are interconnected using a high-performance fabric protocol.
Google's New Mobile OS Will Have a Distinctly Non-Linux Hue
May 16, 2017
Google has been developing a new open source OS called "Fuchsia" for smartphones, tablets and other devices, which could be unveiled as early as this summer. Little has been revealed about the new OS since it first came to light last year. However, new details that surfaced last week have been making the rounds. Fuchsia apparently will move Google away from its long association with Linux.
BlackBerry KEYone's Success Hinges on Physical Keyboard Longing
May 6, 2017
The first reviews of the new KEYone BlackBerry handset appeared this week, and the early consensus is that this device will appeal to BlackBerry fans who want its familiar physical QWERTY keyboard coupled with the functionality of Google's Android OS. This handset technically is not a true BlackBerry -- it is the first device from TCL since it entered a licensing agreement with BlackBerry Limited.
A Taste of Linux From a Sample Disk Platter
May 4, 2017
Since Linus Torvalds developed the Linux kernel, there has been an explosion of distributions that can be categorized into several broad classes. There are hundreds of distributions out there, but each category has some that have become emblematic. Ubuntu is one of the most iconic distributions of Linux, period. It earned this distinction by crafting a beautiful, user-friendly desktop OS.
Ultimate Edition Linux: Rough Road to a Nice Destination
May 3, 2017
Ultimate Edition has a lot going for it. However, the latest release, version 5.4, also reflects numerous missteps that developers of a seasoned Linux distro should avoid. Ultimate Edition is a fork of two popular Debian-based Linux families -- Ubuntu and Linux Mint -- that aimed to take the best of both Linux entities and blend in a fresh mix of visually stimulating features.
Linux's Big Bang: One Kernel, Countless Distros
April 27, 2017
Even if you're a newcomer to Linux, you've probably figured out that it is not a single, monolithic operating system, but a constellation of projects. The different "stars" in this constellation take the form of "distributions," or "distros." Each offers its own take on the Linux model. To gain an appreciation of the plethora of Linux options, it helps to understand how it started out.
Mobile Ubuntu Gamble to Fizzle Out in June
April 26, 2017
Canonical will end its support for Ubuntu Touch phones and Ubuntu-powered tablets in June, and that it will shut down its app store at the end of this year. The company previously had signaled the system's demise, but it had not fixed a date. With Ubuntu Touch, a unified mobile OS based on Ubuntu Linux, Canonical hoped to establish a marketable alternative to Android and iOS.
A Window Into the Linux Desktop
April 21, 2017
"What can it do that Windows can't?" That is the first question many people ask when considering Linux for their desktop. While the open source philosophy that underpins Linux is a good enough draw for some, others want to know just how different its look, feel and functionality can get. To a degree, that depends on whether you choose a desktop environment or a window manager.
Tiny Core: Small Footprint, Big Potential
April 18, 2017
Tiny Core Linux 8.0, released last week, is a minimalist Linux OS built from scratch with a focus on being as small as possible. That means you should be able to run this Linux distro on a wide range of legacy machines. The tradeoff for ultra smallness, however, often is a not-so-powerful OS that can leave you longing for better options. The Core Project is based on a highly modular system.
Microsoft's Timely Response to Shadow Brokers Threat Raises Questions
April 18, 2017
Just as the Shadow Brokers hacker group started crowing about a dump of never-seen-before flaws in Windows, Microsoft announced it already had fixed most of the exploits. "Today, Microsoft triaged a large release of exploits made publicly available by Shadow Brokers," said Microsoft Principal Security Group Manager Phillip Misner. "Most of the exploits are already patched."
Anbox Could Be the Android-to-Linux Tool Devs Have Been Waiting For
April 13, 2017
The ability to run Android apps natively in a Linux desktop environment is a step closer to realization, thanks to Anbox, a new open source project. Simon Fels, lead software engineer at Canonical, last week debuted a pre-alpha release of the Anbox platform, which he has been working on independently since 2015. There were quite a few problems to solve on the way to a working version, he said.
Shuttleworth Gives Up Hope for Convergence Breakthrough
April 7, 2017
Canonical's long and winding quest for a unified user experience came to a sudden halt on Wednesday, as founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the firm's decision to stop investing in its struggling Unity8 shell and revert to Gnome. The 6-year-old Unity plan was to create a user interface that could work on various types of devices, ranging from a mobile phone to a personal computer or tablet.
Fatdog64: More Bark Than Bite
April 6, 2017
Fatdog64 has the potential to serve as an alternative lightweight OS to Linux distros such as Puppy Linux, Knoppix and Zephyr. However, it has some critical usability issues that need to be fixed first. Fatdog64 seems to have lost its performance edge over earlier versions that made it more appealing as an alternative "frugal" Linux candidate. The latest update does nothing to remedy that problem.
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How urgent is the need to provide broadband services for rural U.S. communities?
It's critical to the entire economy, and everyone should share the cost.
If rural residents really want high-speed Internet, they should foot the bill.
Internet providers will benefit -- they should build out their own networks.
The government should ensure that everyone is connected, but broadband isn't necessary.
People who choose to live off the grid do so for a reason -- leave them alone.
Providers should improve broadband services in heavily populated areas first.