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The Neverending Systemd Saga
May 19, 2014
Here in the Linux blogosphere, controversies come and go like the wind, leaving a trail of broken chalk and empty whiskey bottles in their wake. Most pass quietly into the annals of time of their own accord, however, so when a luminary such as Eric Steven Raymond weighs in with an opinion, it's a safe bet there's something big going on. That's what happened in March on the topic of Systemd.
Linux Pros' Top Command Line Secrets
May 12, 2014
It was a relatively quiet week here in the Linux blogosphere, giving residents a long-overdue opportunity to enjoy a few Tequila Tux cocktails and take stock of all the FOSS-related happenings that have taken place over the past few weeks. Among the highlights were the awarding of the IEEE Computer Society's 2014 Computer Pioneer Award to none other than Linus Torvalds.
AV Linux Dazzles Both Eyes and Ears
May 08, 2014
AV Linux can turn a new or old PC, or an Intel-powered Mac box, into a workstation for audio/graphics/video enthusiasts. AV Linux is a specialty distro much in the style of the CAELinux distro for engineers and scientists and the Musix distro for audio and music production that I reviewed in recent weeks. AV Linux is not your typical Linux desktop. It has a custom-designed Linux kernel.
Making Linux Feel at Home
May 07, 2014
Migrating to a different OS is never easy. Keeping the Windows opened or not chewing on a MacIntosh can be a frustrating and costly experience. Buying new upgraded hardware to keep up with costly new software releases is often an exercise in futility. Running a Linux distribution at home or in a small office can be a productive endeavor that brings cost savings and increased efficiency.
GitHub Unleashes Atom Into Open Source Realm
May 06, 2014
After launching its Atom text editor into beta back in February, GitHub on Tuesday announced that the software is now fully open source under the MIT License. "Much of Atom's functionality is provided by packages, and every Atom package has been open source since the day we launched the beta," explained GitHub developer Nathan Sobo. "Today, we're open sourcing the rest of Atom."
Sexism in FOSS Rears Its Ugly Head Again... and Again
May 05, 2014
It seems there's always some kind of conflict at work in the FOSS community lately, whether it's based on race, on gender or something else. Most recently, it's the gender issue that has been felt most keenly. Not only have we seen the whole GitHub debacle unfold and explode, but then a certain post appeared online that got the Linux community upset all over again.
Snowden's Beloved Tails OS Reaches v1.0 Milestone
May 01, 2014
The volunteers who developed Tails, the open source operating system used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, this week released v1.0. This is the 36th stable release of the OS since the first public version, then called "Amnesia," was released in June 2009. Various security and bug fixes have been incorporated into v1.0. They include a Web browser upgrade and a Tor upgrade.
Federal Initiative Aims to Spur Software Development
April 24, 2014
The allure of Big Data stems from the ability to use advanced technology to manage and manipulate huge amounts of information. Not only that, Big Data offers the opportunity for unlocking information not previously available, and even not previously knowable. However, the software required to underpin Big Data and related IT advances may not be up to the task.
GitHub Cofounder Resigns but Denies Harassment
April 22, 2014
GitHub cofounder Tom Preston-Werner has resigned following an investigation into harassment charges made by developer Julie Ann Horvath, who departed the company last month. "The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation," said Chris Wanstrath, GitHub cofounder and CEO.
Adobe's Open Source Tightrope Walk
April 19, 2014
Open source software continues to gain momentum -- but what is not growing is an open desire among individual software developers to port their commercial Windows wares to Linux. Open source support is not a mere in or out decision. Some software makers shape their business models to take advantage of open source support for some products but not others.
Google Mounts $100K Project Ara Dev Challenge
April 16, 2014
Google announced a $100,000 developers' challenge prize on Wednesday, the second day of its Project Ara modular phone developers' conference. The top two runners-up will get all-expenses paid trips for two or three people to the next Ara devcon -- there will be a few more held this year -- and guaranteed hardware for the project, said Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko.
Fun and Angst With Google Glass
April 15, 2014
Google Glass, which has been the focus of considerable controversy, went on sale Tuesday -- for one day only -- at $1,500, with Android KitKat and new features that include improved battery life, photo bundles, photo replies and voice command sorting. However, one feature -- video calling -- has been eliminated because fewer than 10 percent of Explorer beta users employed it.
Desperately Seeking Linux Programmers
April 11, 2014
Help Wanted: computer programmers needed to code and maintain Linux systems. The Linux operating system and Linux servers are so widely used today that not enough Linux-trained coders and system techs exist. Software developers and enterprise IT departments have jobs but no takers. To fill this shortage, the Linux Foundation has partnered with edX to offer a free online course.
Calligra 2.8 Is Too Sweet for Words Alone
April 03, 2014
If you spend any amount of time creating documents, graphics or organizing data into reports or visual presentations, drop whatever collection of tools you use and put the Calligra Suite to the test. The Calligra Suite is a forked set of office tools for the KDE desktop that branched off the stalled KOffice suite. However, you do not have to run the KDE environment to get it.
Microsoft's Merry-Making MS-DOS Code Caper
March 31, 2014
Well it's the end of another March here in the Linux blogosphere, and that can mean only one thing: the arrival of another April Fools' Day. As if on cue, Microsoft recently made an eminently Fools' Day-worthy move. "On Tuesday, we dusted off the source code for early versions of MS-DOS and Word for Windows," wrote Roy Levin, managing director for Microsoft Research Silicon Valley.
Is Google Thwarting Android-x86 Development?
March 26, 2014
Has Google been spreading FUD to discourage computer makers from using an Android OS retooled to run on legacy computers? The maintainer of the Android-x86 Project has suggested that the Justice Department should investigate whether Google has been interfering with adoption of the open source code his community is developing. The FOSS development world is hardly free of rivalry and power plays.
Horvath Hurls Harassment Charges in Fiery GitHub Exit
March 17, 2014
Adding fuel to the debate over the treatment of women in tech, Julie Ann Horvath, a developer at GitHub, has stormed out of her job, accusing the company of ignoring harassment in the workplace. One of the company's three cofounders and his wife had persistently intimidated her, and an engineer had repeatedly ripped out her code after she turned down his advances, Horvath claimed.
WhatsApp Flaw Opens Database Doors to Hackers
March 12, 2014
An Android developer's disclosure that it's possible to hack into the WhatsApp database and read the text of the chats from another application could be a big headache for Facebook, which has agreed to purchase the app for $19 billion. "This is not a bug, but a design decision of WhatsApp," said Bas Bosschert, chief technology officer of Double Think.
Linux Bugs, Bugs Everywhere
March 10, 2014
Well it was a wild week here in Linux land, and not just because of the asteroid that came hurtling by Earth at heart-lurching proximity. Pay no attention to the 100-foot-wide ball of rock you might notice streaking through the sky closer than the Moon! *Cough*. Thank goodness for tequila. Linux fans, however, had bigger -- or rather, smaller -- things to focus on last week. Namely? Bugs.
Democreativity Wants Your Great Gaming Ideas
March 10, 2014
The Democreativity initiative is calling for gaming ideas from anyone and everyone, with the hope of turning the best of them into hit video games. The initiative is led by Visit Sweden, the Swedish Institute and Business Sweden. Through its website, which launched last week, anyone can post video game ideas. The site encourages completely original submissions, as well as collaborative efforts.
Makulu Makeover May Give Your Linux Life a Lift
March 10, 2014
MakuluLinux was already a solidly performing distro, but the latest version, released last month, takes Makulu to the next level of usability and maturity. Earlier versions offered a choice of Xfce, KDE and Enlightenment 17 desktops. So far, only the Xfce version is available in MakuluLinux 5. However, the tweaking Makulu developer Jacque Raymer built into this upgrade makes up for any loss.
When Friends Tell Friends to Use Linux
March 03, 2014
It's a natural human tendency to want to share a good thing with the people you care about, and Linux is certainly no exception. It can be downright painful, in fact, for FOSS fans to sit by and watch their friends and loved ones suffer in the clutches of other OSes. Even so, is it always a good idea to recommend Linux? One longtime Linux aficionado and blogger isn't so sure.
Wiliest Ways to Keep the NSA at Bay
February 28, 2014
The death of online privacy had already been proclaimed long before Edward Snowden landed in the international spotlight, but if it wasn't confirmed back then, Snowden's NSA revelations surely must have extinguished the last vestiges of hope in even the most die-hard optimists. "We're in a predicament," said Phil Zimmermann, Pretty Good Privacy creator and cofounder and president of Silent Circle.
Google Issues Clarion Call for Project Ara Devs
February 27, 2014
Google is ramping up its plans to bring the Project Ara modular smartphone to market by scheduling its first developer conference. The company will hold the conference on April 15-16 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. A limited number of developers will be able to attend the conference in person, but anyone can participate online through a live stream and interactive Q&A.

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