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Posts tagged as “Mobile”

Another Behind-the-Scenes Niche Where Open Source is Winning

Hook one of these BLE babies up with facial recognition technology and we’ll be living smack dab in the middle of a Philip K. Dick novel.

(Graphic courtesy of Grid Dynamics)

Roblimo’s Hideaway

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons? Unless you run a retail store, probably not. But if you do run a store (or stores) along with an e-commerce operation, BLE is a hot new thing you are either using already or thinking about using before long.

What Hardware Platforms Do You Use? All of Them.

The FOSS Force Poll

The results of our hardware platform poll have been tallied and just as we suspected, FOSS Force readers in large part use every platform available. The poll, which asked what different hardware platforms you use, offered a slate of answers too long to list here. Let’s just say it covered the gamut, from smartphones to desktops, and included separate places to tic for different operating systems.

What Computer Platforms Do You Use?

The FOSS Force Poll

Star Trek Communicator computerStar Trek Communicator computer
Photo by David Spalding
When Star Trek first hit the air back in the “swinging sixties,” that’d be the 1960s for those too young to remember, many of the technically minded took one look and said, “Impossible.” Or if not impossible, it’d be at least the 23rd century, the era in which the show was set, for the technology to arrive. They weren’t talking just the space travel science, stuff like warp drive, inertial dampers and the like, but were talking the small stuff too, like the communicators and tricorders. Today we have something akin to both, built into a single device called a smartphone. In hindsight, we should’ve seen it coming, but as some folks say, hindsight has perfect vision.

Linux: When Uniformity is Good

We’ve been in this bid’ness for ten years now. The business of giving Linux-powered computers to kids who cannot afford this technology, or any technology for that matter. And so far so good. There have been some lessons learned along the way. Some of those lessons small but valuable. Some of those lessons so painful that we had no choice but to change the way we do things. And never doubt…there were uh, spirited discussions about this change. Yeah, we’ll stick to “spirited”. I’ve been to football matches in Great Britain and Germany that couldn’t come close to such levels of “spirit.” So which thing could bring about this measure of “spirited” discussion?

KDEKDEThe Linux desktop environment. Environments such as Unity, KDE, Mate, Cinnamon, etc.

These environments all have their strengths and their weaknesses, just like any number of things you might put up for comparison. But this business of desktop environments, well…there are a lot of moving parts here. A lot of things to consider, and most importantly, the mechanics that lead us to our decision to use one environment over the other.

Ken StarksKen Starks

Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue

OSCON Moves, Nokia’s on the Phone & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Larry’s hanging out up near the 49th parallel, in Bellingham, Washington, for the LinuxFest Northwest conference. He’ll be filing reports over the weekend and possibly on Monday, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, I get to do the Week in Review — because the boss likes me best.

OSCON’s packing its bags

Speaking of conferences, OSCON’s making a big move. Although the annual conference presented by publisher O’Reilly Media started in my old stomping grounds of Monterey, California in 1999, the event has been held in Portland, Oregon every year since 2003, except for 2009 when it made a one-off stop in San Jose. This year OSCON will once again be held in Portland, on July 20-24, then that’s it, for at least a year.

OSCON logoOSCON logoLate last week, Rachel Roumeliotis reported in a blog on the OSCON website that after this year’s event, the conference will be packing up and making a move. In 2016, OSCON will unfold it’s tents in Austin, Texas, with the conference being held May 16=20.

Why Austin? Cited for reasons are the city’s many software communities, such as All Girl Hack Night and Google Development Group Austin, as well as Texas based tech firms such as Rackspace, Dell, SoftLayer, Continuum, and OpenStack. It doesn’t look like this move will be permanent, however. According to the post: “As with OSCON in Amsterdam…we want to explore these communities and offer those software engineers and architects the OSCON experience.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Xfce 4.12, Raspberry Pi’s Whole Number & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Larry’s at SCALE 13x, covering the event for us while fulfilling his duties as the conference’s publicity chair, so he twisted my arm to again take care of the week’s news review. Well, he didn’t really twist my arm; he asked politely. And promised to give me some piece of conference swag he has no use for. Can’t wait to see what it is.

New Xfce due next week

Speaking of Larry, back in December he helped quash a rumor that the popular Xfce desktop had been abandoned. Now we have further evidence that he wasn’t just talking through his hat — as if there was ever any doubt.

Today the folks at Softpedia announced that Xfce 4.12 will be released by the end of February, or most likely on March 1st:

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Samsung’s Spying TVs, Ubuntu Phone Sells Out & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Larry Cafiero is busy working for SCALE (pun intended), so you’re stuck with me for another week. Sorry.

Ubuntu Phone sale is gone in a flash

The sale of the first ever Ubuntu phone through a European flash sale was evidently a success. Of course, we wouldn’t know as the phone isn’t available yet to those of us who live on this side of the pond, so it hasn’t been getting much press over here. However, EU sites are all atwitter with headlines like “Ubuntu Sells Out!”

Ubuntu phoneUbuntu phoneThat was referring to the first flash sale, held Wednesday morning EU time, in which all devices being made available were sold out in “just a few hours,” according to Softpedia. In fact, it sold so quickly that a decision was made to hold another flash sale that same afternoon. The original flash sale was supposed to last for nine hours. The number of devices sold hasn’t been released.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Microsoft Can’t Sell Laptops or Phones

Microsoft continues its slide into irrelevance, as least as far as consumer tech is concerned. Even the company’s successes, like the Surface Pro, are only relative successes. No matter how hopeful sales figures for the Pro may look, the device is still roadblocked by Redmond’s lack of apps for its mobile devices. Evidently, the holiday shopping season was dismal for Redmond, even in some areas where it would be expected to dominate as usual.

Take laptops, for instance, where Windows sales performance was laughable.

Microsoft Windows LogoMicrosoft Windows LogoOn Friday, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols posted a story on Computerworld illustrating just how low Windows has fallen. He points out that according to Amazon’s sales figures for the holidays, the top three best selling laptops were all running Chrome OS (with Linux inside), with nary a Windows machine in sight.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Pono Is Here, High Def Open Source Codec (Sort of) & All

Neil Young’s long promised high def music device, Pono, is out and I am jammed. Not that I’m ever going to be able to buy one, mind you. But if I were entrenched middle class, the type of person who can shell out 500 bucks for a new Coach purse, I’d have one of these babies in a Texas heartbeat, which should be quicker than a regular heartbeat given the Lone Star State’s rate of high blook pressure and all. The latest news is that they’ll be available in your not-so-friendly neighborhood electronics store on Monday for $399. The Pono Music Store already went online a few days back.

Pono music playerPono music playerTo be sure, the naysayers are everywhere, saying this pony can’t fly. They may be right.

There’s been a lot of concern over the price of the player itself, which I don’t think is valid. Although it’s way out of my price range, four hundred bucks isn’t all that much, especially if you compare it to the twelve hundred dollar price tag on the latest Walkman unveiled by Sony at this year’s CES. If it delivers as promised, it’s worth every penny.

Evidently, it does deliver, according to Gizmodo which has tested one.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

A FOSS Wish List for 2015

First my FOSS predictions for 2015: cloud, systemd, vulnerabilities, containers, and Linus uses the “F” word.

Let’s forget predictions; they’re boring. They’re either too obvious or they’re not likely to happen. So is my wish list, with two major exceptions. First, wishes are much more subjective, making them much more fun for the wisher. Second, when predictions don’t happen, they’re wrong. When I wish for things and they don’t happen, they’re still things I wish for, so they’re not wrong, they’re just not happening. Caution must be exercised, however. Remember the old proverb ascribed to the Chinese about the possibility of wishes coming true…

Oh, one last thing about how I wish. Sometimes I wish in very great detail. My friends who believe in magic tell me this is good, that it will help bring my wishes to fruition. Time will tell. Stay tuned…

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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