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Ubuntu's Vivid Vervet Makes Snappy Entrance
April 21, 2015
Canonical on Tuesday announced the release of Ubuntu 15.04, aka "Vivid Vervet," as in East African monkey. It will be available for download on Thursday. The new OS offers tools for cloud, device, client and Internet of Things development. The Ubuntu desktop release includes mostly maintenance and bug fixes, along with new integrated menus and dashboard usability improvements.
Google Dresses Up Android Wear
April 20, 2015
Google on Monday released an update to Android Wear -- just the second significant feature refresh for its wearable device software since its introduction more than a year ago. "This update is overdue," said Ian Fogg, senior director and head of the mobile and telecoms team at IHS Technology. "With other products, Google adds features fairly continuously," he noted.
Opening Windows Source Code Could Improve Security
April 16, 2015
Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich raised a few eyebrows at ChefCon earlier this month, when he aired the possibility of Windows becoming an open source program. Sure, Microsoft's attitude toward the open source movement has mellowed over the years, but the prospect of the company rubbing elbows with the likes of Linux overloads the imagination.
SuperX OS Greases the Classic Linux Wheel
April 15, 2015
SuperX OS is a solid Linux distribution that dispels all of the criticisms about using free open source OSes. SuperX is a relatively new distro developed by Libresoft. Based on Ubuntu and Debian, it adds a highly customized KDE desktop environment. The maturity and impressive performance of Grace, its latest release, makes the SuperX OS a prime replacement choice for whatever distro you now use.
Apple Devs Play WWDC Lottery
April 14, 2015
Apple on Tuesday announced that its 26th annual Worldwide Developers Conference will take place in San Francisco June 8-12. The event will include more than 100 technical sessions on developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies. Attendees will get access to the latest innovations, features and capabilities of the OSes.
Emojis Get Real in New iOS
April 10, 2015
Apple on Thursday released a new version of iOS that adds racial diversity to its emoji library. In addition to the fair-skinned faces found in prior versions, the new assortment includes brown, black and golden yellow mugs. What's more, there are emojis of same sex couples and families, too. "Emoji have become huge for people," said Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Carolina Milanesi.
Parsix 7 Morphs GNOME Into a Better Desktop
April 7, 2015
Parsix GNU/Linux 7 is a feature-rich rendition of the GNOME desktop that you must take for a spin. Dubbed Nestor, the project's goal is to provide a ready-to-use and easy-to-install operating system based on Debian's testing branch and the latest stable release of the GNOME desktop environment. The Parsix distro meets that goal -- and goes even beyond.
Microsoft Could Throw Windows Wide Open
April 6, 2015
Open sourcing the code for Microsoft Windows is "definitely possible," Microsoft engineer Mark Russinovich reportedly said last week during a panel discussion at ChefConf. The company isn't acknowledging any movement in that direction as yet, but Russinovich's remarks are a strong indication that the Microsoft of today isn't the trenchant foe of the paradigm it was in the past.
Google Goes Crazy for Chromebooks
April 1, 2015
Google has announced two new budget-busting Chromebook computers, a tablet/notebook convertible with a full swivel screen, and a Chrome computer-on-a-stick. The Haier Chromebook 11 and the Hisense Chromebook both are available for preorder for $149. The Asus Chromebook Flip will hit the market this spring with a $249 price tag. The Asus Chromebit will be available this summer for less than $100.
Big Money Helps Cyanogen Go for Android's Jugular
March 27, 2015
Cyanogen has announced the completion of a financing round that brought $80 million in new funds to pay for more hiring and accelerated development of its open platform software development kit. Cyanogen is committed to liberating the Android OS from the financial grip of Google. Cyanogen has spurred a developing secondary app market for an alternative Android distribution based on its mods.
Bodacious Bodhi Broadens Linux Desktop
March 26, 2015
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC3's implementation of the Enlightenment desktop, makes an awesome desktop computing platform for office or home. Bodhi is one of only a handful of Linux distros embracing the Enlightenment environment. Its developers call Bodhi the Enlightened Linux Distribution. Beware if you try it: Bodhi Linux could easily become your favorite Linux distro.
Leap Motion Faceplate Lets OSVR Head Talk to the Hand
March 25, 2015
It looks and sounds good, but virtual reality is still establishing how to get around in the digital worlds it creates. OSVR has placed the controls in the hands of Leap Motion, which may be a stellar move. Leap's novel approach embeds the VR controls in a faceplate that can be attached to an OSVR-compatible headset. The faceplate will be bundled with OSVR's Hacker Dev Kit when it ships in June.
Microsoft's Novel Windows 10 Antipiracy Plan
March 23, 2015
Microsoft this summer will distribute Windows 10 to anyone running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1, regardless of whether the existing OS is a genuine or pirated copy. Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's operating systems unit, disclosed the marketing strategy last week at the WinHEC summit in China. Some 74 percent of all commercial software used in China is pirated, according to BSA.
Did VMware Flout Open Source License Terms?
March 20, 2015
The Software Freedom Conservancy earlier this month announced that it was funding a lawsuit filed by Linux kernel developer Christoph Hellwig against VMware in the district court of Hamburg in Germany. The conservancy entered a grant agreement with Hellwig for the legal action. Its funding of the legal action is part of the program activity of its GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers.
Windows Hello Waves Off Passwords
March 18, 2015
Microsoft on Tuesday announced Windows Hello, a feature that allows users to access computers and devices running Windows 10 via face recognition, iris identification or fingerprint matching. In addition, the company raised the curtain on Microsoft Passport, a programming system that IT managers, software developers and website authors can use for signing in to websites and applications.
Q4OS Is a Bare-Bones Business Tool
March 18, 2015
Q4OS has the potential to become a new attention-getter among up and coming Linux distros. But this distro has a way to go before its development reaches full functionality. Right now it is working its way to a non-beta version 1.0 release. New beta versions are frequently released, often a few weeks to a month apart. The latest release was version 0.5.25 on February 4.
Cortana Could Edge Out Siri, Google Now
March 13, 2015
Microsoft later this year will offer its Cortana personal assistant as a standalone app for iOS and Android devices. The engine behind Cortana is "arguably better than [Siri or Google Now] simply because it's far more mature and comprehensive," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. The Cortana personal assistant evolved from the AI character Cortana in the Halo video game series.
The CIA Has Been Hacking iOS for Years: Report
March 12, 2015
The CIA for years has been working to break iOS security, according to a report published Tuesday. The allegations are based on documents provided by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Researchers working with the CIA have presented their tactics and achievements at Trusted Computing Base Jamborees, secret annual gatherings that have been going on for nearly a decade.
Evolve OS Is a Clean and Light Work in Progress
March 11, 2015
Evolve OS Beta 1 needs considerable fine-tuning to get to release candidate status, but it has two innovations that distinguish it from the crowd of Linux distro newcomers. This new arrival is built around a home-made desktop called "Budgie" and a custom package manager forked from Pardus Linux. I am always interested in new desktop approaches. That's what drew my attention to Evolve OS.
Windows Caught in Path of FREAK Security Storm
March 6, 2015
Microsoft on Thursday issued a security advisory acknowledging a vulnerability in all versions of Windows that could allow FREAK exploits. Windows systems previously were thought to be immune to FREAK attacks. "The vulnerability could allow an attacker to force the downgrading of the cipher suites used in an SSL/TLS connection on a Windows client system," the advisory reads.
ChaletOS Is a Design Tweak in the Linux House
March 5, 2015
ChaletOS began as a personal project of developer Dejan Petrovic. This operating system has a familiar Windows-like style, with appealing simplicity and impressive speed. Much of that performance credit goes to the use of the Xfce desktop. The system controls are tweaked to bring unique style-changing capabilities to a classic Linux desktop environment.
The Open Source Squad at the GSA
March 3, 2015
18F, a development unit within the General Services Administration, was established a year ago to tap into the success of the United Kingdom's Government Digital Services unit by pursuing a similar strategy. The unit is tasked with getting developers from Silicon Valley and the ranks of civic developers all over the country to change how federal technology gets done.
Pearl OS Could Be a Gem in the Making
February 26, 2015
If you favor the OS X environment, Pearl OS might be a Linux distro to feed your fancy. Pearl OS is a revival of the discontinued Pear OS distro. It picks up where Pear left off in early 2014. Pearl OS has two desktop versions: XFCE and MATE. Both are based on Ubuntu Linux distro version 14.04 Mini release. The two flavors of Pearl OS are customized to look and act like the OS X operating system.
Korora Comes Bursting With Extras
February 18, 2015
Korora, a Linux distro based on Fedora, the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, just keeps getting better. When I reviewed Korora 19, released in July 2013, I said it had the potential to grow in popularity among users looking for a better, more user-friendly Linux distro that reaches beyond Fedora's enterprise appeal. Korora 21 provides even more assurance of that statement's accuracy.

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