Jack M. Germain

About the Author Jack M. Germain


Software

Automotive Grade Linux Reaches Key Car Platform Milestones

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.

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Enterprise

CoreOS, OCI Unveil Controversial Open Container Industry Standard

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.

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Government

Trump’s Plan to Make Government IT Great

The American Technology Council, which President Donald Trump established this spring by executive order, has four years to rebuild the federal government’s information technology structure. A massive reboot of both hardware and software will be necessary to bring government computers up to modern standards. The effort will force many government agencies to shift years of floppy disk and other outdated storage technologies to the cloud.

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Software

SharkLinux OS Is Destined for Success

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.

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Software

Fedora 26 Powers Up Cloud, Server, Workstation Systems

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.

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Reviews

Xinix Offers Linux Lovers a Path to Zen

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.

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Community

Open Source Survey Exposes Community Troubles

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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Reviews

BitKey Unlocks Mysteries of the Bitcoin Universe

BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution with specialist utilities for performing highly secure air-gapped bitcoin transactions. This distro is not for everyday computing needs, but if you are obsessed with the use of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it might be just what you need. I am a high-tech sort of guy with a keen interest in diving through Linux distros both simple and complex.

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Enterprise

MariaDB Offers a Bigger Box of Transactional Tools

MariaDB last week announced the availability of MariaDB TX 2.0, a fully functional open source transactional database solution for modern application development and enterprise use cases. MariaDB TX offers a comprehensive package of technology and services, including feature-rich new releases of MariaDB Server and MariaDB MaxScale, which close the functional gap between open source and proprietary offerings.

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Reviews

Feren OS: A Linux Desktop Game-Changer

Feren OS is a polished and well-stocked Linux distro that comes close to being an ideal replacement for Microsoft Windows and macOS. In fact, this impressive Linux OS is a very attractive replacement for any Linux distro. The only impediment to this assessment is dislike of the Cinnamon desktop. Feren OS does not give you any other desktop options, but it comes with many configuration choices.

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Enterprise

Red Hat Gives JBoss AMQ a Makeover

Red Hat on Thursday announced JBoss AMQ 7, a messaging platform upgrade that enhances its overall performance and improves client availability for developers. JBoss AMQ is a lightweight, standards-based open source platform designed to enable real-time communication between applications, services, devices and the Internet of Things, based on the Apache ActiveMQ and Apache Qpid community projects.

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Software

New Strain of Linux Malware Could Get Serious

A new strain of malware targeting Linux systems, dubbed “Linux/Shishiga,” could morph into a dangerous security threat. Eset disclosed the threat, which represents a new Lua family unrelated to previously seen LuaBot malware. Linux/Shishiga uses four protocols — SSH, Telnet, HTTP and BitTorrent — and Lua scripts for modularity, wrote Detection Engineer Michal Malik and Eset researchers.

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Software

Moby, LinuxKit Kick Off New Docker Collaboration Phase

Docker this week introduced two new projects at DockerCon with an eye to helping operating system vendors, software creators and in-house tinkerers create container-native OSes and container-based systems. The projects are based on a new model for cross-ecosystem collaboration and the advancement of containerized software. Both projects aim to help users adopt container technology.

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Software

Report: Commercial Software Riddled With Open Source Code Flaws

Black Duck Software has released its 2017 Open Source Security and Risk Analysis, detailing significant cross-industry risks related to open source vulnerabilities and license compliance challenges. Black Duck conducted audits of more than 1,071 open source applications for the study. There are widespread weaknesses in addressing open source security vulnerability risks across key industries.

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Software

Kingsoft Adds Cloud Support to WPS Office

Kingsoft had announced an expansion to its WPS Office suite to include WPS Cloud. The upgrade enables users to work in a cross-platform office suite environment with added storage, file roaming and sharing capabilities. The cloud-enhanced version is available for PCs and mobile as a fully functional free release and with premium subscriptions. It runs on Linux, Windows, Mac and Android devices.

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Reviews

Fatdog64: More Bark Than Bite

Fatdog64 has the potential to serve as an alternative lightweight OS to Linux distros such as Puppy Linux, Knoppix and Zephyr. However, it has some critical usability issues that need to be fixed first. Fatdog64 seems to have lost its performance edge over earlier versions that made it more appealing as an alternative “frugal” Linux candidate. The latest update does nothing to remedy that problem.

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Developers

Cloud Foundry Aims to Close Cloud Skills Gap

The Cloud Foundry Foundation has announced the launch of a worldwide cloud-native developer certification initiative. The foundation created the program to fill the widening gap of trained programmers for cloud apps and services. The Linux Foundation — which has trained and certified more developers on open source software than any organization in the world — will provide the instruction.

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Reviews

OpenSuse Leap Reinforces Linux Faith

OpenSuse Leap 42.2 goes a long way toward maintaining Suse’s reputation for reliability and stability. That said, new users might need a push to take the leap from their familiar distros to this latest OpenSuse release. Business users can remain confident that upgrading to the latest edition, released last fall, won’t put them too close to the bleeding edge of innovation.

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Reviews

Slackel Openbox Plays Hard to Get

Slackel’s Openbox edition is a lightweight operating system that offers reliable performance once you get the box open. It is not an ideal OS for every user, though. Slackel 6.0.8 Openbox was released by developer Dimitris Tzemos last fall. Slackel is a Linux distro that offers several benefits for users who step away from the typical mainstream Debian-based Linux distros.

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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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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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