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Open Source

A Windows 10 Alternative: Ubuntu-Based Zorin OS Linux Distro (betanews.com) 191

"With a click of a button, you can change the desktop layout to match that of Windows versions and Gnome 3. The Ultimate edition...also features Ubuntu, Gnome 2 and macOS-like layouts." BrianFagioli shares an article about a Linux-based operating system "designed for Windows-switchers." While the company does charge for an "Ultimate" version, the "Core" edition of Zorin OS 12 is entirely free... "As Zorin OS 12 is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, it will be supported with security updates until April 2021. This makes Zorin OS 12 the ideal choice for large deployments in businesses, governments, schools and organisations", says The Zorin OS Team"... Zorin OS features some really great features, such as Google Drive integration with the file browser.
Although unlike Windows 10, its default browser is Chromium.
Software

cURL Author Is Getting Tech Support Emails From Car Owners (daniel.haxx.se) 141

AmiMoJo writes: The author of the popular cURL utility has been receiving requests for help from frustrated car owners having difficulty with their infotainment systems... [B]ecause his email address is listed on the "about" screen, as required by the cURL license, some desperate users are reaching out to him in the hopes of finding a solution.
It sounds annoying to receive complaints like "why there delay between audio and video when connect throw Bluetooth and how to fix it." But though he rarely answers them, Stenberg writes that "I actually find these emails interesting, sometimes charming and they help me connect to the reality many people experience out there."

In a post titled "I have toyota corola," Stenberg says "I suspect my email address is just about the only address listed. This occasionally makes desperate users who have tried everything to eventually reach out to me. They can't fix their problem but since my email exists in their car, surely I can!"
Operating Systems

Antivirus Firm Kaspersky Launches Its Own Hackproof OS, Based On Microkernel (fossbytes.com) 108

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fossbytes: Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity and antivirus company, has announced their new operating system which was in development for the last 14 years. Dubbed as Kaspersky OS, it has made its debut on a Kraftway Layer 3 Switch. Not many details have been revealed by the CEO Eugene Kaspersky in his blog post. The GUI-less OS -- as it appears in the image -- has been designed from scratch and Eugene said it doesn't have "even the slightest smell of Linux." He actually tagged "Kaspersky OS being non-Linux" as one of the three main distinctive features he mentioned. The other two features he briefly described are rather fascinating. The first feature is that the Kaspersky OS is based on microkernel architecture, which basically means using the minimum amount of ingredients to bake your own operating system. The OS can be custom-designed as per requirements by using different modification blocks. The second distinctive feature is the inbuilt security system which can control application behavior and OS modules. It touts Kaspersky OS as practically unhackable, unless a cyber-baddie has a quantum computer -- which will be required to crack the digital signature of the platform -- at his disposal.
Microsoft

There's Bugs In The Windows 10 Implementation of Bash (altervista.org) 163

First-time submitter Big O Notation shares "an honest review about the new Ubuntu Bash" that shipped with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. While it's still officially beta, most of the commands work as expected, and it includes popular programs like the Pico text editor. Here's some of the review's highlights: Pros: You can also manage and manipulate other files inside your entire Hard Disk, even those outside of your Linux home directory.
Cons: Even if you chmod something properly, when you use ls -l the Bash would not show the correct permissions. [And] if you try to create a Folder in your Linux Home Directory by using the Windows GUI, it would be impossible to read and manage it. Don't try this at home.

Microsoft says they've included the Windows Subsystem for Linux primarily as "a tool for developers -- especially web developers and those who work on or with open source projects." One Scandinavian developer has even tried running X on Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, reporting success running simpler programs like xcalc and xclock, as well as Gnome Control Center and xeditor and SciTE. "Things start to fall apart if you try to get more ambitious, though."
Ubuntu

Ubuntu-Based Elementary OS 0.4 'Loki' Achieves Stable Release (elementary.io) 72

"Today, Elementary 0.4 (code-named 'Loki'), achieves stable status," BetaNews reported Friday, applauding the "clean and functional" app tiles in its software center. Elementary OS (stylized as elementary OS) isn't the most popular Linux distro, and it certainly isn't the best. However, this Ubuntu-based operating system is focusing on something that some competitors do not -- user interface, which ultimately contributes to the overall user experience. It is because of this that Elementary is so important to the Linux community -- it matters.
Developers focused on internationalization for this release, part of an effort to "grow the market" for open-souce software, according to the elementary blog, which proudly points out that 73% of the 1.2 million downloads for their "design-oriented" OS came from closed-source operating systems.
GUI

Fedora 25 To Run Wayland By Default Instead Of X.Org Server (phoronix.com) 151

An anonymous reader writes: Fedora 25 will finally be the first release for this Linux distribution -- and the first tier-one desktop Linux OS at large -- that is going ahead and using Wayland by default. Wayland has been talked about for years as a replacement to the xorg-server and finally with the upcoming Fedora 25 release this is expected to become a reality. The X.Org Server will still be present on Fedora systems for those running into driver problems or other common issues.
Fedora's steering committee agreed to the change provided the release notes "are clear about how to switch back to X11 if needed." In addition, according to the Fedora Project's wiki, "The code will automatically fall back to Xorg in cases where Wayland is unavailable (like NVIDIA)."
KDE

KDE Bug Fixed After 13 Years (kate-editor.org) 118

About 50 KDE developers met this week in the Swiss Alps for the annual Randa Meetings, "seven days of intense in-person work, pushing KDE technologies forward and discussing how to address the next-generation demands for software systems." Christoph Cullmann, who maintains the Kate editor, blogs that during this year's sprint, they finally fixed a 13-year-old bug. He'd filed the bug report himself -- back in 2003 -- and writes that over the next 13 years, no one ever found the time to fix it. (Even though the bug received 333 "importance" votes...) After finally being marked Resolved, the bug's tracking page at KDE.org began receiving additional comments marveling at how much time had passed. Just think, when this bug was first reported:
-- The current Linux Kernel was 2.6.31...
-- Windows XP was the most current desktop verison. Vista was still 3 years away.
-- Top 2 Linux verions? Mandrake and Redhat (Fedora wouldn't be released for another 2 months, Ubuntu's first was more than a year away.)

Software

Raspbian Linux OS Gets Major Update, Adds Bluetooth Support to Pi 3 (betanews.com) 87

An anonymous reader writes: The Raspberry Pi 3 was launched with built-in chip for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, however, software support for Bluetooth was lacking until now. The drivers were there, but today's update to the Raspbian Linux distribution adds much-needed GUI tools to help you establish Bluetooth connections. Another cool addition is a new backup tool. There are other improvements as well including the mouse settings, and the ability to empty the wastebasket through right-clicking as seen below (yes, seriously). There is even a new shutdown dialog, something even casual users should notice.Official blog post here.
Entertainment

MegaBots Raises $2.4M To Create League Of Human-Piloted, Giant Fighting Robots (techcrunch.com) 52

Remember MegaBots? The Kickstarter success story that was raising money last year to pilot fighting robot named Mk II. Labeling it as a contest for world supremacy, the co-founders challenged a Japanese team Suidobashi Industries to a duel with its Kuratas bot. (Which it accepted very gracefully). The idea was to utilize this octane-packed event to sell merchandise products. Here's an update: it worked. TechCrunch reports: Oakland, Calif. startup MegaBots Inc. has raised $2.4 million in seed funding to bring the robot-fighting stuff of manga and anime to a venue near you. According to MegaBots cofounders, Gui Cavalcanti, Matt Oehrlein, and Brinkley Warren, the startup aspires to follow in the footsteps of major sports associations like Formula 1 or UFC. With the seed funding, Warren said, MegaBots will be partnering with a law firm called Latham Watkins to help set up and roll out its league internationally, taking an approach similar to the Olympics. Specifically, MegaBots will be working with Latham Watkins Partner Christopher D. Brearton, who represents the International Olympic Committee, and has helped organized leagues and governing bodies in sports including the NBA, MLB, NFL and others.
Technology

People Often Deride Game Changing Technology as 'a Toy' (medium.com) 282

Steven Sinofsky, former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, has cataloged how often game-changing technologies have been derided as toys. Some of the things he has included in the list include a PC, C programming, PC networking, GUI, color screen, AI, and internet video. He writes: As many have recognized, when inventions and innovations first appear they are often (always) labeled as "toys" or "incapable" of doing "real work" or providing "real entertainment." Of course, many new inventions don't work out the way inventors had hoped, though quite frequently it is just a matter of timing and the coming together of a variety of circumstances. It can be said that being labeled a toy is necessary, but not sufficient, to become the next big thing. This got me thinking about all the conferences, trip reports, and new products I have looked at over many years. Sure turns out that a huge number of things in my own career were labeled as toys -- not just by me, but by an industry at large. Check out the list on Medium.
Displays

Apple's Night Shift May Have Zero Effect On Sleep (macworld.com) 79

eggboard writes: While blue light emitted by monitors and mobile displays has been widely cited as a cause in disrupting people's circadian rhythm, the evidence is thin: a narrow range of blue spectra might not be the problem (it may be a more complicated interaction), brightness may be more important, and Night Shift's (and f.lux's) effects are probably too negligible anyway. Apple's Night Shift feature lets you adjust the color temperature of your display to the warmer end of the spectrum. Apple notes, "Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep."
GNU is Not Unix

GNOME 3.20 Officially Released (softpedia.com) 193

prisoninmate writes: After yet another six months of hard work, the highly anticipated GNOME 3.20 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems has been officially released on March 23, 2016. Release highlights include support for operating system upgrades via GNOME Software, middle-click paste, kinetic scrolling, drag-and-drop support for Wayland, keyboard shortcuts and gestures overlay for most of the core apps, XDG-Apps technology for installing multiple versions of an app, and much more goodies.
Chrome

Google Will Kill Its Chrome App Launcher For Windows, Mac, and Linux In July 77

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced plans to kill off the Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July. The tool, which lets users launch Chrome apps even if the browser is not running, will continue to live on in Chrome OS. So why is Google removing the Chrome app launcher from Chrome? Well, it turns out Google has finally figured out what everyone all already knew: "we've found that users on Windows, Mac, and Linux prefer to launch their apps from within Chrome."
Open Source

Canonical Finally Lets Users Move The Unity Launcher To Bottom In Ubuntu 16.04 (softpedia.com) 176

prisoninmate writes from an article on Softpedia: It is official, the packages needed to move the Unity Launcher of Ubuntu Linux to the bottom of the screen have finally landed in the main repositories of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, due for release on April 21, 2016. Softpedia reported that Ubuntu users might be able to move the Unity7 Launcher at the bottom edge as a rumor in February -- but now they confirm it finally landed for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. It is not known if Canonical will implement a visual setting in the Apperance/Behaviour panel for users to easily switch between having the Unity Launcher on the left of at the bottom of the screen for the final release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, but you can do it by running a simple command.
GUI

A California Jury Finds Copyright Infringement In an Interface (deepchip.com) 125

whoever57 writes: A California jury in one of the cases between Synopsys and Atoptech found copyright infringement in Atoptech's use of the "Primetime commands". These companies compete in the field of EDA ("Electronic Design Automation") software: software that is used by semiconductor companies to design ICs. The Primetime commands are merely an interface. Atoptech has their own implementation of the functionality that these commands [provide]. This can be seen as similar to the Oracle vs. Google lawsuit, in which an appeals court has found that providing a similar interface (via header files) can constitute copyright infringement. Naturally, there will be appeals in this case.
Graphics

Wayland Isn't Ready For the Fedora 24 Desktop (phoronix.com) 120

An anonymous reader writes: There was much hope that Fedora 24 would be the first major Linux distribution using Wayland by default in place of an X.Org Server, that didn't pan out with Fedora 24 Workstation developers deciding not to use Wayland by default but it will remain a log-in time option. Fedora Wayland has made a lot of progress but functionality like on-screen keyboard, accessibility, remote displays, USB display hot-plugging, and other functionality is incomplete for the Fedora 24 timeline. At least there are many other Fedora 24 features that made it for this next release due out in June. Wayland will turn eight years old this year.
GNU is Not Unix

Guix Gets Grafts: Timely Delivery of Security Updates 13

paroneayea writes: GNU Guix, the functional package manager (and with GuixSD, distribution) got a nice feature yesterday: timely delivery of security updates with grafts. Guix's new grafts feature recursively produces re-linked packages as dependencies without waiting for all to compile when a time-sensitive security upgrade is an issue. This came just in time for this week's OpenSSL security issues, and has been successfully tested by the community. It worked so well that it was able to reproduce the ABI break issue that other traditional distributions experienced also!
GUI

Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment 133

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good," GNOME is "perfect," KDE is "bad," and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing? What's your experience?
Windows

Internet Archive Brings Classic Windows 3.1 Apps To Your Browser (google.com) 109

The Internet Archive has made it possible for you to make a virtual visit to the wide, wide world of Windows 3.1 games (and other apps, too), via a collection of virtualized images. Jason Scott is the game collector and digital archivist behind the online museum of malware mentioned here a few days ago. "Now," Ars Technica reports, "Scott and his crew have done it again with the Windows 3.X Showcase, made up of a whopping 1,523 downloads (and counting), all running in a surprisingly robust, browser-based JavaScript emulation of Windows 3.1. You'll recognize offerings like WinRisk and SkiFree, but the vast majority of the collection sticks to a particularly wild world of Windows shareware history, one in which burgeoning developers seemed to throw everything imaginable against 3.1's GUI wall to see what stuck." Says the article: A volunteer "really did the hard work" of getting the Windows files required for each DOSBOX instance down to 1.8 MB, and in the process came up with a more centralized version of those files on his server's side, as opposed to kinds that would require optimizations for every single emulated app.
GUI

Project Neon Will Bring Users Up-to-Date KDE Packages (cio.com) 42

sfcrazy writes: [Kubuntu founder Jonathan Riddell] is going to announce a new project at FOSDEM that brings the KDE experience to users. There is Fedora that offers latest from Gnome, but there is no such distro that offers the same level of integration with KDE software; yes, there is openSUSE but it offers KDE as an option. So Kubuntu based KDE Neon is a project to give KDE users and contributors a way to get KDE's desktop software while it's still fresh. It'll be providing packages of the latest KDE software so users can install it and stay up to date on a stable base.

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