Jack M. Germain

About the Author Jack M. Germain


Reviews

Black Lab Linux 8.0 Is a Rare Treat

Black Lab Linux 8.0, based on Ubuntu 16.04, adds a Unity desktop option. You won’t find Unity offered by any other major — or nearly any minor — Linux distributor outside of Ubuntu. It also updates several other prominent desktop options. Black Lab Linux is a general purpose community distribution for home users and SMBs. Black Lab Enterprise Linux targets businesses that want support services.

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Consumer Security

Online Trust Alliance Launches IoT Security Campaign

The Online Trust Alliance is calling on businesses, consumers and government to share responsibility for ensuring that Internet of Things devices are not weaponized, outlining actions that businesses, consumers and government can take to ensure the security and privacy of IoT devices. It calls for a campaign to have retailers and consumers reject IoT products that pose a security threat.

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Community

Google Invites Open Source Devs to Give E2EMail Encryption a Go

Google has released its E2EMail encryption code to open source as a way of pushing development of the technology. “Google has been criticized over the amount of time and seeming lack of progress it has made in E2EMail encryption, so open sourcing the code could help the project proceed more quickly,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. That will not stop critics, though, he added.

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Reviews

Zorin Desktop Is a Crowd Pleaser

Zorin OS developers on Tuesday released Version 12.1, offering Linux users a patchwork of software and hardware updates with some performance enhancements and bug fixes. Zorin 12.1 follows the introduction three months ago of the project’s 12 series. It is a minor update, but the amount of tweaking applied makes it worth upgrading to the .1 release. For instance, it has an updated hardware stack.

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Reviews

DebianDog Is a Useful Pocket Pup

DebianDog offers a lot of functionality and customization that frees users from many of the restrictions of a Linux community tied up in developmental red tape. DebianDog is fast and focused on getting work done without a lot of distractions. However, it also is a disorganized desktop environment that can leave new users floundering. Its look and feel is eclectic, and documentation is sparse.

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Enterprise

Open Source IoT on Steady Enterprise March

Enterprise IT decision makers have been exploring the potential of Internet of Things technologies, but they are not rushing IoT projects into development and are showing caution in their adoption commitments, according to survey results Red Hat released Wednesday. Of the 215 participants in the company’s survey, “Enterprise IoT in 2017: Steady as she goes,” 55 percent indicated that IoT was important to their organization.

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Software

Munich City Government to Dump Linux Desktop

Munich city officials turned lots of heads 10 years ago, when they voted to swap out Microsoft Windows with LiMux — a custom desktop version of the Linux operating system, based on Ubuntu Linux. The current municipal government wants to dump LiMux and replace its 15,000 computers with Windows 10. The city’s general council this week voted to investigate the costs of building a Windows 10 client.

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Reviews

Lumina Adds Luster to Linux Desktop

The Lumina Desktop Environment desktop is a standout in the crowded field of Linux GUIs. Lumina is a compact, lightweight, XDG-compliant graphical desktop environment developed from scratch. Its focus is on giving users a streamlined, efficient work environment with minimal system overhead. Lumina was first developed for the BSD family of operating systems, such as FreeBSD and TrueOS.

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Software

LibreOffice Update Offers Fresh Experience

The Document Foundation on Wednesday announced the general availability of LibreOffice 5.3, one of the office suite’s most feature-rich upgrades since 2010, when it forked from OpenOffice at version 3.3. Dubbed “5.3 Fresh,” this latest release takes the development of LibreOffice in a new direction with a focus on updating the user experience, according to Italo Vignoli of the Document Foundation.

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Reviews

FastComputer: Fussy but Fixable

FastComputer Linux is a disappointing experience that almost fails. It is poorly designed, has little community support, and lacks its own home base and identity, all of which contribute to an identity crisis. Its home — on Sourceforge.com — lacks much in attractiveness, as does the distro. The Linux OS offers developers and users choice among desktop options and OS standards.

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Enterprise

Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform Expands Cloud Options

Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4. This latest version helps organizations better embrace new Linux container technologies that can deliver innovative business applications and services without sacrificing existing IT investments. It offers dynamic storage provisioning and multitenancy for both traditional and cloud-native applications.

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Reviews

Min Browser Muffles the Web’s Noise

Min is a Web browser with a minimal design that provides speedy operation with simple features.
When it comes to software design, “minimal” does not mean low functionality or undeveloped potential. If you like minimal distraction tools for your text editor and note-taking applications, that same comfort appeal is evident in the Min browser. I mostly use Google Chrome, Chromium and Firefox on my desktops and laptop computers.

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Software

Google, FCA Test-Drive New Open Source Infotainment System

Google and FCA this week showcased a new in-auto infotainment platform at CES in Las Vegas. The open source system combines Uconnect with Android Auto. The companies demonstrated their concept design inside a Chrysler 300 sedan at the show. The integration of Android and Uconnect enables a system built for connectivity and compatibility with the universe of popular Android applications.

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developers

CrateDB Launches Machine Data Innovations

Crate.io has announced the general availability of the first non-beta release of CrateDB 1.0, an open source SQL database that enables real-time analytics for machine data applications. CrateDB is an SQL database alternative to NOSQL machine data management solutions. It gives mainstream SQL developers access to machine data applications that previously were available only using NoSQL solutions.

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Reviews

Android Marshmallow on PC Falls Flat

Android-x86 Project eventually may become a viable operating system alternative for your desktop and laptops computers, but it’s not there yet. You will have to wait a while for the developers to fix a number of failures with the latest release upgrading Android-x86 to Marshmallow 6.0.1. Android-x86 lets you run the Android OS with the Google Chrome browser on your desktop and laptop computers.

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Reviews

Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse

Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability. Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package. Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties.

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Enterprise

Docker, Canonical Team on Enterprise Support

Docker and Canonical on Wednesday announced a commercial agreement to integrate support for Docker Engine. The partnership gives Canonical customers a single path for support of the Ubuntu operating system and CS Docker Engine in enterprise Docker operations. It provides a streamlined operations and support experience for joint customers by splitting the service obligations in four ways.

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Reviews

AV Linux Update: Good but Not Better

AV Linux could be a music and video lover’s dream come true. AV Linux is a specialty distribution that can turn a new or old PC, or an Intel-powered Mac box, into a workstation for audio/graphics/video enthusiasts. AV Linux is one of the few available fully functional Linux distros to give audio and video enthusiasts a professional level collection of tools for handling of audio-visual files.

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Reviews

wattOS Energizes Aging Hardware

wattOS is a stunning example of really great things coming in small packages. wattOS is a lightweight and fast desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS built around the LXDE. It uses the lightweight Openbox window manager as its default user interface. To credit this 8-year-young community of developers with birthing an energy-efficient Linux distribution is an understatement.

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Software

Ubuntu Releases IoT Core Platform

Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 16 for the Internet of Things to provide enhanced security and app store support for connected devices. The platform provides regular security updates and gives independent software vendors, manufacturers and enterprises control of system updates. Ubuntu Core 16 uses Ubuntu’s snap packages technology to ensure that IoT applications access only necessary data.

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