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Tuesday - February 4, 2014
Smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous -- and so convenient that we often download apps and approve permissions without giving them much thought. Such behavior exposes the data we store on them to increasing risk. That blind trust is just what app makers count on. Android users, especially, are complacent about synchronizing apps on multiple devices. Even worse is the practice of linking bank and social networking accounts with cloud storage so that a conduit is always open that connects our data from phones, tablets and computers. [More...]

Monday - February 3, 2014
Openness is changing the world, as a very wise writer pointed out not so very long ago, and what better example than the parade of government-spying revelations we've seen in recent months? It's clearly a different world since Edward Snowden appeared on the scene -- though not everyone agrees on whether it's a better one or not. In the eyes of some, he deserves a peace prize. [More...]

Friday - January 31, 2014
Just when you think you have found the sweet spot with an ideal Linux desktop distro, along comes yet another version to tug at your computing heart strings. In this case, it is LXLE. Lubuntu eXtra Life Extension, aka LXLE, is based on Lubuntu, a version of Ubuntu running LXDE. If you have yet to experience the LXDE desktop, prepare yourself for a wonderfully smooth computing experience. [More...]

Thursday - January 30, 2014
Google has been clamping down on third-party apps that ride piggyback on its Google Voice telephony service. A merger between Google Voice and Hangouts this year will result in the shuttering of an open protocol exploited by apps that used the Google Voice service for free SMS texting and VoIP calling. The days of free Internet-based in-U.S. smartphone calls over Google's network are numbered. [More...]

Wednesday - January 29, 2014
Good or bad, useful or not, implementation of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and Microsoft's Secure Boot extension might well foul the fuel driving consumer migration to the Linux desktop. It was not until I attempted to do a Linux installation on a new Gateway Series DX desktop with Windows 8 installed that I stared that UEFI monster down. [More...]

Tuesday - January 28, 2014
B1 Archiver is one of only a few archiver managers for the Linux platform that is reliably simple to use. Simplicity is a key trait that distinguishes the B1 Archiver from other Linux compression tools. In the category of smart-looking and simple archivers, one of my favorites is PeaZip. B1's GUI adds a new dimension that redefines ease of use on the Linux desktop, though. [More...]

Monday - January 27, 2014
Here in the Linux community, it's no secret that there are more flavors of our favorite operating system than most of us can keep track of. That doesn't mean, however, that one can just up and disappear without anyone noticing. Case in point: Pear OS. One day it's freely available for download, offering a remarkably Mac-like experience that's nevertheless based on Linux. [More...]

Friday - January 24, 2014
As someone who regularly explores the back-roads of desert-adorned Southern California, I'm acutely aware of massive, gaping holes in wireless network coverage as soon as you leave blacktop in rural America. You can sometimes off-road all day out west with no mobile data coverage. Moments of connectivity might be the occasional hilltop-occurring set of phone handset signal bars. [More...]

Thursday - January 23, 2014
Quirky is a very interesting Linux distro that is a developmental sideline of the main Puppy Linux family. I expected some quirks in Quirky's design and performance, despite its mature growth to version 6.1 released on Jan. 1. However, the few quirks I found did not mar its performance. Quirky was easy to set up and fun to run. It is just as reliable and complete as the main Puppy Linux distro. [More...]

Wednesday - January 22, 2014
It's a good idea to prune an Android device periodically, for a few reasons. A mishmash of apps, some aging, have all kinds of on-device routines running that can negatively affect performance. Worse, some are continually accessing the Internet and eating into your data cap -- unlimited wireless Internet on mobile devices is practically nonexistent these days. [More...]

Tuesday - January 21, 2014
Is the Android OS morphing into a new form of embedded Linux? Android is a Linux OS derivative perched to make inroads beyond its growing user base in smartphones and tablets. Some auto makers are considering the potential for Android-connected communications systems in their vehicles. The Android OS is already available as an all-in-one desktop computer powered by System on a Chip circuitry. [More...]

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