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Next US Elections: Open Source vs. Commercial Software?
September 7, 2017
San Francisco could become the first U.S. city to adopt open source software to run its voting machines. City officials last month authorized consulting group Slalom to prepare a report on the benefits and challenges involved in using an open source voting machine platform. Officials hope a move to open source will make San Francisco's voting software more transparent and secure.
Bodhi Linux With Moksha Is Truly Enlightening
September 6, 2017
Bodhi Linux 4.3.1's implementation of the Enlightenment desktop, released late last month, continues this distro's tradition of providing an awesome desktop computing platform for office or home. When I last reviewed Bodhi Linux, I was attracted to the relatively new desktop environment. I recently installed the latest version on new hardware, and Bodhi Linux did not disappoint.
Document Foundation Freshens Up LibreOffice
September 5, 2017
The Document Foundation last week announced that it was rolling out LibreOffice 5.4.1 Fresh, the first minor upgrade to its LibreOffice 5.4 open source suite of productivity apps introduced earlier this summer. It also announced LibreOffice 5.3.6 Still, representing the sixth release of its LibreOffice 5.3 family originally introduced in January. LibreOffice 5.4.1 targets early adopters.
Too Few Candidates to Fill Growing Number of Open Source Jobs
August 30, 2017
Open source hiring has been hampered by a lack of trained job-takers, according to The Linux Foundation, which released its sixth annual summary of career opportunities in open source last week. The report provides an overview of open source career trends, along with factors that motivate industry professionals, and methods employers use to attract and retain qualified talent.
Window Maker Live: Cool Retro Look, Even Cooler Performance
August 28, 2017
Window Maker Live takes an unusual approach to desktop interface management. It has an old-fashioned look with a productive new feel. The latest version of Window Maker Live, released this month, is a Debian-based Linux distribution that uses the Window Maker window manager as the default GUI. It integrates well-known open source components in a surprisingly satisfying interface.
Microsoft, Red Hat Offer Enterprise Support for Containers in Hybrid Cloud
August 25, 2017
Microsoft and Red Hat this week expanded their nearly 2-year-old alliance to bridge the gap between Windows and open source computing with the launch of several new initiatives to help enterprise customers more easily adopt container solutions. The announcement bolsters an alliance that began in 2015, when Microsoft began offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure.
Kolab Now Is a Smooth On-Ramp for LibreOffice Online
August 23, 2017
As cloud popularity grows, so does the collection of free or low-cost online office tools that services like Microsoft Office Online and Google Docs/G Suite provide. However, those two major league offerings, along with a swarm of other cloud-based productivity platforms, are proprietary. Until now, online open source office suites have been little more than vaporware.
Google Touts Android Oreo's Tasty New Features
August 22, 2017
Google has pulled the wraps off the latest version of its Android mobile OS. Version 8.0 Oreo has a number of improvements over 7.1 Nougat, the previous release of the OS. Google has tweaked Android's notification feature, for instance, so when an app has notifications pending, a dot appears in a corner of the program's icon. Press the dot and a window will pop up showing the notifications.
Heading in the Right (Re)Direction
August 19, 2017
If you've taken the time to get the hang of terminal basics, you're probably at the point where you want to start putting together what you've learned. Sometimes issuing commands one at a time is enough, but there are cases when it can be tedious to enter command after command just to perform a simple task. This is where the extra symbols on your keyboard come in.
Ubuntu Budgie Distro: Simple, Clean and User-Friendly
August 15, 2017
Ubuntu Budgie is one of the few Linux distros to offer integration of a Budgie desktop-only edition, other than Solus OS, whose developers created it. Ubuntu Budgie is classy and user-friendly. It does not sacrifice performance for reliance on a simple design. Although based on the Ubuntu Linux family, Ubuntu Budgie is not from Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company.
Is the Path to Secure Elections Paved With Open Source Code?
August 8, 2017
Increased use of open source software could fortify U.S. election system security, according to former CIA head R. James Woolsey and Bash creator Brian J. Fox. The two made their case for open source elections software after security researchers demonstrated how easy it was to crack some election machines at the recent DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas.
Automotive Grade Linux Reaches Key Car Platform Milestones
August 3, 2017
Automotive Grade Linux has released version 4.0 of the AGL infotainment platform and announced new projects to support telematics, instrument cluster, heads-up-display and a virtualization component. The group also announced that seven new companies have joined AGL and The Linux Foundation. The breadth of the seven new companies indicates the range of open source involvement in the auto industry.
WSL to Ship With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
August 2, 2017
Microsoft has announced that Windows Subsystem for Linux will emerge as a fully supported part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update when the OS ships later this year. The new status means that early adopters in the Windows Insider program no longer will see the subsystem's status as "beta," beginning with Insider build 16251, Microsoft Senior Program Manager Rich Turner noted.
The Elusive Total Linux Convergence Dream
July 28, 2017
Regular readers know that I usually stick to the well-charted territory of essential terminal commands and practical overviews of Linux history, since they are immediately useful to newcomers. Thankfully for beginners, the basics don't change very quickly -- but that's not to say that Linux is a stagnant ecosystem. Far from it. Linux can be found at the very frontier of emerging computer trends.
SparkyLinux 5: Great All-Purpose Distro for Confident Linux Users
July 27, 2017
When I first reviewed the Game Over edition of SparkyLinux several years ago, I called it one of the best full-service Linux distros catering to game players you could find. That assessment extends to last month's release of the non-gaming edition of this distro. Based on the testing branch of Debian, SparkyLinux 5.0 features customized lightweight desktops.
Microsoft Releases Long-Awaited Security Tool, Sets Linux Preview
July 25, 2017
Microsoft has released its long-awaited cloud-based bug detection tool, previously code-named "Project Springfield." The Windows version became generally available, and a new Linux version became available as a preview last week. The tool, Microsoft Security Risk Detection, uses artificial intelligence to hunt down security vulnerabilities in software that is about to be released.
Open Source Flaw 'Devil's Ivy' Puts Millions of IoT Devices at Risk
July 21, 2017
Millions of IoT devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to a vulnerability initially discovered in remote security cameras. Senrio found the flaw in a security camera developed by Axis Communications, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of the devices. The Model 3004 security camera is used for security at the Los Angeles International Airport, according to Senrio.
CoreOS, OCI Unveil Controversial Open Container Industry Standard
July 20, 2017
CoreOS and the Open Container Initiative on Wednesday introduced image and runtime specifications largely based on Docker's image format technology. However, OCI's decision to model the standard on Docker's de facto platform has raised questions. Some critics have argued for other options. Version 1.0 provides a stable standard for application containers, according to CoreOS CTO Brandon Philips.
Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support in SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate
July 19, 2017
Microsoft has announced the availability of its first public release candidate for SQL Server 2017, which includes full support for Linux. SQL Server on Linux improves on earlier previews with several key enhancements, including active directory authentication; transport layer security to encrypt data; and SQL Server Integration Services that add support for Unicode ODBC drivers.
SharkLinux OS Is Destined for Success
July 17, 2017
SharkLinux OS is one of those very rare newcomer distributions that has "Future Big Winner" written all over it. Over my many years of reviewing Linux software and distros for Linux Picks and Pans, I have found that the story of what spurred the developer to create the distro often showcases the driving power that enables open source software. That is the case with SharkLinux OS.
Fedora 26 Powers Up Cloud, Server, Workstation Systems
July 15, 2017
The Fedora Project has announced the general availability of Fedora 26, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora OS. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 26 comprises a set of base packages that form the foundation of three distinct editions targeting different users. All three editions share a common base and some common strengths.
Microsoft Makes Room for Ubuntu at Windows Store
July 13, 2017
Microsoft this week announced the availability of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distro as a free download in the Windows Store. It can be installed on any Windows Insider build, said Microsoft Senior Program Manager Rich Turner. One of the advantages to using the Windows Store version of the Ubuntu Linux Distro is that the software can be downloaded faster and more reliably.
The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Shows Which Bits Are Boss
July 11, 2017
If you've ever been curious enough to look through your system's root directory, you may have become a little overwhelmed. Most of the three-letter directory names don't tell you much about what they do, and if you ever needed to make important modifications, it would be tough to know where to look. I'd like to take those of you who haven't ventured much into your root directory on a brief tour.
IoT Fuels Growth of Linux Malware
July 5, 2017
Malware targeting Linux systems is growing, largely due to a proliferation of devices created to connect to the Internet of Things. That is one of the findings in a report WatchGuard Technologies released last week. The report, which analyzes data gathered from more than 26,000 appliances worldwide, found three Linux malware programs in the top 10 for the first quarter of the year.
Xinix Offers Linux Lovers a Path to Zen
June 27, 2017
Xinix is an innovative newcomer to the world of Linux distros. Now in beta, this distro has been spearheaded by a single developer who slowly is bringing other programmers on board to move things along. Despite its early development status, Xinix has potential for Linux fans who like to experiment with new platform concepts and do not mind trying out an OS that is not yet fully functional.
Sudo or Sudo Not, There Is No (4th) Try
June 24, 2017
If you're a Linux user, at some point in some tutorial or troubleshooting guide you've more than likely encountered Linux's magic word: "sudo". A casual observer probably can tell you that it's used to access restricted functions on your computer, but there is much more to it than that. My hope is that by taking a moment to learn about the power of "sudo", you will be better equipped to use it.
Microsoft Expands Linux Container Support in Windows Server
June 20, 2017
Microsoft has decided to expand its support for Linux containers in the next release of Windows Server. Linux containers and workloads will work natively on Windows Server, said Erin Chapple, general manager for the server operating system. The company also will extend Window Server's Hyper-V isolation capability, which was introduced in the 2016 release of the operating system.
Rosa LXQt Edition's Flexibility Sets It Apart
June 14, 2017
The Rosa Desktop Fresh R series gets better with each new edition to its distro lineup. The already-established Rosa Desktop Fresh R was a hit with its series of standard desktop editions released with KDE4 and Plasma 5, as well as the GNOME 3 and MATE desktops. This latest LXQt edition adds the ability to run this powerhouse computing platform on legacy boxes with as little as 512 MB of RAM.
Securing Your Linux System Bit by Bit
June 13, 2017
As daunting as securing your Linux system might seem, one thing to remember is that every extra step makes a difference. It's almost always better to make a modest stride than let uncertainty keep you from starting. Fortunately, there are a few basic techniques that greatly benefit users at all levels, and knowing how to securely wipe your hard drive in Linux is one of them.
Open Source Survey Exposes Community Troubles
June 8, 2017
GitHub has released the results of its survey on open source software development, practices and worldwide communities. Responses from more than 6,000 participants reveal some of the problems missing or poorly done documentation can have on users and project adoption. The survey also reveals an ongoing concern about nasty interactions among community members and negative attitudes toward women.
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What effect is social media having on the current discussion of sexual misconduct?
It's enabling many more people to engage in serious discussions.
It's functioning mostly as an echo chamber.
It's giving everyone a voice.
It's creating much more divisiveness.
It's enabling a cultural re-education.
It's making my news feed so unpleasant I'm staying away.