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China's Anti-Windows 8 Tirade
June 10, 2014
China's ambivalence about American technology has long been clear, but recently the nation kicked off what appears to be a fresh, trash-talking effort targeting Windows 8, in particular. First, China banned the OS from its government computers late last month, citing security concerns in the wake of XP's end of life. Then came the suggestion that Windows 8 is a threat to its national security.
Apple vs. Microsoft Marketing: Spark vs. Spork
June 09, 2014
During Apple's WWDC keynote event last week, it became exceedingly clear that we won't be seeing a converged iPad/MacBook device anytime soon. Unlike Microsoft, with its Surface Pro 3 effort, Apple doesn't seem at all interested in forcing iOS and OS X into a single unified operating system. In fact, Apple doesn't seem to be interested in making OS X touch-based or touch-enabled.
Got Linux? Add Proprietary Code
June 06, 2014
Migrating to the Linux platform is not an either/or proposition. Linux is so flexible that it offers users a have-it-your-way menu of software options. One option is the Linux desktop. Individual users in home computing, SOHO and SMB operations can choose from a variety of enterprise-class Linux distributions. The Linux desktop OS offers a no-cost or low-cost alternative to Windows or OS X.
The 5 Things That Made This Year's WWDC Radical
June 06, 2014
While there were two hours jam-packed with announcements at the keynote presentation kicking off Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference this week, you can count the really important announcements that will create lasting change on one hand. The new programming language, Swift, isn't one of them. Wait, what? Not Swift? Why? There are five bigger deals.
RoboLinux Smooths the Linux Migration Path
June 05, 2014
RoboLinux is an impressive traditional Linux desktop distro. It could be an ideal vehicle for both enterprises and SOHOs to make the migration to Linux. RoboLinux comes with a few extra features that solve some of the potential problems of leaving other desktop platforms. One of its more enticing migration tools is a preconfigured virtual machine add-on.
Samsung to Try Out Tizen Smartphone in Russia
June 03, 2014
Samsung this week officially launched its long-anticipated Tizen phone, at the Tizen Developer Conference being held in San Francisco through Wednesday. One description of Tizen is that it's an open source Linux-based operating system from Samsung -- but that might be open to debate. The Samsung Z Tizen phone initially will debut in Russia in the third quarter.
Apple Teases Consumers, Doubles Down With Devs
June 03, 2014
Apple managed to pull off a mean feat on Monday at its WorldWide Developers Conference. Without announcing a single hardware device, it teased consumers with dozens of updated features in iOS 8 and the next version of Mac OS X -- dubbed "Yosemite" -- then doubled-down with app developers by offering tons of new APIs, along with elements of deep integration between apps and devices.
TrueCrypt's Mysterious Vanishing Act
June 02, 2014
Anyone would be distressed to discover the disappearance of a favorite piece of software, but when the software in question was open source and endorsed by Edward Snowden -- and when the developer's site begins offering instructions for migrating to a Microsoft product instead -- alarm bells are sure to begin ringing throughout the FOSS world. That, sure enough, is just what's been going on.
Deepin's Functionality Is a Bit Too Shallow
May 29, 2014
Deepin Linux is something totally new. It is an Ubuntu-based distribution built around its own desktop environment called "DDE" or "Deepin Desktop Environment." The Deepin desktop design is snazzy yet simple to use. It is one of the first Linux distros to take advantage of HTML 5 technology. The distro so far is available only in English and traditional or simplified Chinese.
Tales of Distros Tried and True
May 27, 2014
It was another tempestuous week here in the Linux blogosphere, thanks not just to the controversy over Systemd, but also the apparent arrival of DRM on none other than our favorite free and open source browser. "Mozilla holds its nose and supports DRM video in Firefox" is Linux Girl's favorite headline of the lot; "Can This Web Be Saved? Mozilla Accepts DRM, and We All Lose" is a close second.
China's Payback for US Hacker Indictments Begins
May 27, 2014
The Department of Justice last week unsealed indictments against five members of the Chinese military who were accused of hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies to steal everything from trade secrets to confidential corporate correspondence. China's initial response was to deny any wrongdoing and charge that the U.S. had hacked into the systems of Chinese companies.
Easing Linux Into the Enterprise
May 22, 2014
The pulling points for migrating either to the Linux desktop or the Linux server often are reduced to two things. One is the cost of not migrating. The other is a decision to deploy Linux gradually -- or entirely -- throughout the office infrastructure. Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Some do it for cost efficiency -- others for greater flexibility.
Iran Releases Fans Detained Over Music Video
May 22, 2014
Iran has released at least some of the people who appeared in a music video for a song by American pop artist Pharrell Williams. The video, set to the Williams tune "Happy," showed people dancing on rooftops of the capital of Tehran. It is not clear if all of the people arrested for making the Tehran-based video have been released or if they later will be put on trial.
Blue Pup Distro: Pride of the Puppy Linux Litter
May 21, 2014
It had to happen sooner or later. It turned out to be sooner. It is here. The Blue Pup Linux distro brings the Metro view to the Linux desktop. This arrangement is not a true Metro interface the likes of the much criticized Windows 8. Instead, it is a Puppy Linux derivative distro, or Pupplet, built around the Chromium Web browser with a Chrome extension.
The Inescapable Logic of Language Localization
May 20, 2014
Tailoring language translations for software documentation and GUIs can make or break an open source project. Localizing language is a unique undertaking, with a number of moving parts. The process of translating language in releases for different target markets presents costly cultural and language translation barriers that often are beyond the financial abilities of the open source community.
Xiaomi Serves Up Apple-Flavored Mi Pad
May 16, 2014
Xiaomi fired a new salvo in its attempt to compete with major names like Apple and Samsung as it introduced its first tablet, the Mi Pad. The 7.9-inch Android device -- which has the same-size surface as the iPad mini -- uses an Nvidia quad-core Tegra K1 processor and will be manufactured by Foxconn, cofounder and CEO Lei Jun announced. The Mi Pad includes 2 GB of RAM and WiFi connectivity.
Enlightenment Linux: It's Not What You Think
May 16, 2014
The Enlightenment desktop environment is not for everyone. Experienced Linux fans may delight in some new light bulbs switching on, but Linux newcomers may find themselves groping in the darkness. For the Linux-initiated, Enlightenment offers some powerful new flexibility in how to set up and use the operating system. Enlightenment is radically different from other lightweight interface shells.
Hiring Linux to Run Your Small Business
May 15, 2014
Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Disgust with Microsoft or Apple regimentation and software limitations are but two of them. For some, the greater flexibility that comes from open source software, as well as better cost and productivity controls, are the driving factors for a move to the Linux OS. The benefits vary depending on the use case.
Ending the Embedded Linux Patent War Before It Begins
May 13, 2014
The Open Invention Network was created in 2005 as a white hat organization to protect Linux. It has considerable financial backing from Google, IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. More than 800 organizations worldwide have joined the community by signing the free OIN license. A clamor recently has been growing for OIN to take steps to protect embedded Linux from patent pillagers.
Ransomware Gang Targets Android Phones
May 13, 2014
The Reveton Gang is at it again. This time, though, they're targeting users of Android phones -- typically visitors to porn sites. The gang that pioneered the idea of locking up a target's computer and demanding a ransom to unlock it has turned its attention to the rapidly growing mobile market. Once Reveton mobile infects a phone, it will display a bogus warning.
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.
Windows Phone's Secret Weapon: Customization
May 08, 2014
Despite coming from one of the world's most well-known tech companies, Microsoft, Windows Phone has a freakishly odd smartphone branding problem. From what I see out there, most consumers barely know what a Windows Phone is or how it works or why they might want one. Business users tend to be more aware of it, but they often end up choosing an Android smartphone or even an iPhone instead.
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.

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