Jack M. Germain

About the Author Jack M. Germain


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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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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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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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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Community

Microsoft Open Sources AI Toolkit

Microsoft has released an updated version of its Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit as an open source Beta. The deep learning system is used to speed advances in areas such as speech and image recognition and search relevance on CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. It also works with Microsoft’s Azure GPU offering. The toolkit’s developers initially were looking for a tool to speed up and improve their own research.

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Reviews

Meet Maui 1, the Slick New Hawaiian Netrunner

Maui 1, which launched this summer, is one of the latest newcomers in the continuously changing list of Linux distributions. Maui Linux, with its new Hawaii desktop environment, is a replacement and rebranding of the discontinued Netrunner project. Its developers are attempting to continue the Kubuntu-based heritage, while adopting some of the latest technologies impacting other Linux distros.

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Software

Fedora 25 Beta Resets the Linux Performance Bar

Red Hat has released the beta version of Fedora 25, an open source Linux operating system maintained by the Fedora Project community. The beta release sharpens cloud and developer features, making this Linux distro more attractive to enterprise users. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 25 comes in three editions: Cloud, Server and Workstation.

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