Scott Gilbertson

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Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it - after the install woes

Review As has become par for the course with Fedora, the latest – Fedora 21 – has arrived months behind schedule. To its credit, it's well worth the wait. This release marks the start of the Fedora.next project. The big change is that Fedora 21 is available in three flavors: cloud, server, and workstation. All three build on the same …

Why, hello there, Foxy... BYE GOOGLE! Mozilla's browser is a video star

Review Firefox 34, just released, adds support for Mozilla’s web-based Skype-competitor, Firefox Hello. Firefox 34 also drops Google as the default search engine for US users, gives Mac fans the ability to play native H.264 video and eliminates a major security vulnerability. Phew! But is it any good? This is the first version of …

Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION

Some years back, when Microsoft was mired in Windows Vista and open source issues, and web developers were on an accelerating trajectory, a quiet revolution took place. In the corridors and anterooms of tech conferences, scrunched deep into beanbags and huddled next to power outlets developers were at work, nose down, in …

We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

Review Linux Mint 17.1 is the first example of what the Mint project team can do when they're focused on their own system rather than on making the latest Ubuntu work with Mint. That’s because Mint 17.1 sticks with the Ubuntu released earlier this year – the first time this desktop Linux has not gone with the more recent Ubuntu. It’s …
By Frank Wouters, licensed under CC 2.0

OpenSUSE 13.2: Have your gecko and eat your rolling distro too

Review The great green gecko-wielding distro has undergone a major update with its latest release, openSUSE 13.2. This edition comes on the heels of some major changes for how openSUSE releases are structured. While the main release, like this week's 13.2, remains unchanged, the openSUSE project has merged its two unstable, semi- …

Ubuntu's shiny 10th birthday Unicorn: An upgrade fantasy

Review For a celebratory 10th birthday release, Ubuntu 14.10 is a bit of a damp squib. I've been covering Ubuntu for seven of the release’s 10 years and 14.10 is the first time I've had to dig deep into the release notes just to find something new to test. If you needed further proof that Canonical is currently solely focused on …
Google Chrome logo

Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER

Google has recently pushed out Chrome 38, for desktop and mobile devices. Google updates its browser every six weeks – so often, in fact, that much of the time there isn't much in the way of new or worthwhile features. Not so with this release. Among the changes Chrome 38 has support for new features in JavaScript, as part of …

Right, suits off: Windows 10 preview Internet Explorer is here

Preview When it comes to Windows 10, Microsoft has so far spent so much time trying to explain the meaning of a "universal" app you'd be forgiven for missing one piece of news that should have a huge impact of the web - a new version of Internet Explorer. Currently, the development version of Windows 10 does not ship with the new IE ( …

Unchanging Unicorn: Don't be disappointed with Ubuntu 14.10, be happy

Review A number of Ubuntu flavours – Kubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome, Xubuntu and the brand new Ubuntu Mate (yes, it's official now) – this month participated in the first beta release of the next Ubuntu – 14.10, or Utopic Unicorn. The main Unity Desktop was absent, meaning what's called the second beta (and is now available) is the first and …
Viking

A Norsified Linux for Windows and OS X wobblers

Review First things first: the name. The next Elementary OS was codenamed Isis – as in the Egyptian goddess of magic and life. That was until Islamic State became a thing and the distro’s team decided such associations were unwanted. Now it’s Freya, as in the Norse goddess of love and, er, war. Conflict aside, what a nice update to …

OwnCloud: Fiddly but secure host-from-home sync 'n' share

Review Phones in our pockets, tablets down our sofas, and laptops in our bags. Never have we had so many devices in our possession. It makes sense to start syncing and sharing folders and data between them – not just for the sake of convenience, but for our sanity. Many companies are offering to bridge the connection gap - from Apple, …

YES, I have ridden the UNICORN: The Ubuntu Utopic unicorn

Ubuntu 14.10, nicknamed Utopic Unicorn, is coming in just a few months. Alpha releases have been available for some time but beta testing started last week, meaning code is generally stable enough for virtual machines and other testing scenarios. Ubuntu's current release cycle means that the main Ubuntu line usually sits out the …

Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

Programming the Web, Pt. III The most revolutionary aspect of all the changes that have taken place in web development over the last two decades has been in the web browser. Typically we think of web browsers as driving innovation on the web by providing new features. Indeed this is the major source of new features on the web. For example, Microsoft …

What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Feature Desktop browsers have reached a point where there isn't a huge amount of daylight between them. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera are all on a pretty even playing field when it comes to features and speed. Safari and Internet Explorer lag a little bit when it comes to the bleeding edge of web standards because they update …

Quicker, easier to fly to MOON than change web standards ... OR IS IT?

Programming the Web, Pt. II It took the United States eight years to put a man on the Moon. That was time between John F Kennedy’s call to Congress in 1961 and Neil Armstrong getting his boots dirty on the lunar surface, in July 1969 – 45 years ago this month. Yet it took 17 years, from the start of CSS, to get widespread support for custom fonts in HTML …

Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY

Review The idea of a new version of Firefox will sound like a bad joke to some. To others, it’s a yawn – Firefox comes at the blistering pace of one new version every six weeks. How can there be anything significant in the latest edition? Well, Firefox 31, released last week, is a significant update with new tools for web developers. …
By Gary Knight CC 2.0

KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer

Review Plasma 5, released last week, is a major redesign of the Unix KDE desktop environment and underlying frameworks. Perhaps the most notable difference is the visual changes, which see KDE embracing a more streamlined, "flat" interface, but it's also the first version of KDE to be powered by Qt 5 and the recently released KDE …
Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989

Party like it's not 1999: Cry FREEDOM for a better web

Programming the Web, Pt. I If you travelled back to 1999 and told web developers that one day hundreds of them would pony up cold hard cash to get a feature in a web browser, none of them would have believed you. 1999 was the high water mark of the browser wars between Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape Communications' Navigator. Microsoft was …

The fresh Mint of dwell there: This is a story all about how 17 is here for a while

Get used to Mint 17, the latest release of this popular Linux distro. All versions of Mint until 2016 will use exactly the same base as this version, released on Saturday, 31 May. “The [Mint] development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one," according to the Mint page here. The reason …

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Review The future is here, or at least the next five years of it for Ubuntu fans. Canonical has released Ubuntu 14.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) release, meaning the Linux shop will be supporting this distro until 2019. Significantly, this is likely the first look that more conservative users will get at the direction Ubuntu has been …
Ubuntu 14.04 menus in window

Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

Review The final beta release of Ubuntu 14.04, due in April, is here. Code-named Trusty Tahr, 14.04 will be a Long Term Support release, meaning Canonical will support what you get in April for five years. The idea is it's a solid foundation for long-term development and planning by Canonical and users, particularly partners and …
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

GNOME 3.12: Pixel perfect ... but homeless

Review When the GNOME 3.x desktop arrived it was, frankly, unusable. It wasn't so much the radical departure from past desktop environments, as the fact that essential things did not work properly or, more frustratingly, had been deemed unnecessary. Fast-forward three years and while GNOME 3.12 – released Wednesday – still isn't the …
Ubuntu RHS teaser

Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked

Review It's nearly spring, which means it's time for the first installment of Ubuntu for 2014. Version 14.04, nicknamed Trusty Tahr, will be an important one because it culminates in a Long Term Support (LTS) version, the first in two years. That means not only will Ubuntu 14.04 be supported for five years, this will be the first time …
The GNOME 3 Shell with apps

Sanity now: Gnome 3.12 looking sensible - at least in beta

Review The GNOME team has released the first beta of GNOME 3.12, the next major release for the popular desktop and UI environment. Unlike the past few releases, there's a ton of new stuff in GNOME 3.12. The highlights include a slew of new apps, a major makeover for the long-standing video player, better privacy controls, support for …
Barbed wire surrounding communications tower

Faster, more private, easier to read: My 2014 browser wishlist

The web browser ceased to be a "browser" some time ago. These days browser is really the runtime of the web. As such, web browsers and browser makers seem to spend more time these days optimizing their runtimes for developers. Every time you turn around there's a new JavaScript compiler, support for a still-not-actually-a- …
Photo of smartphones running Ubuntu

Ubuntu desktop is so 2013... All hail 2014 Ubuntu mobile

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth is no stranger to exploring rarefied territory. The man has, after all, been to space. His interest in new frontiers means Ubuntu, the Linux distro he created, is also poised to make a great leap - to go where no Linux has gone before. Shuttleworth's plan to take Linux beyond the desktop and …

DJANGO UNCHAINED: Don't let 'preview' apps put you off Fedora 20

Review If you're a fan of GNOME 3 and the GNOME Shell, Fedora 20 will be a welcome update. This release sees an upgrade for Fedora's default GNOME spin, bringing the desktop to GNOME 3.10. Fedora's live desktop CD has used GNOME by default for many years now. Once upon a time that was completely unremarkable. However, since Ubuntu now …

Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

Review The recently released Mint 16, nicknamed Petra, might be the perfect Linux desktop for newcomers. At its core is Ubuntu 13.10, but on top of this are desktops Mate and Cinnamon, the latter being the Mint project's homegrown user interface. Ubuntu gives a stable foundations on which to build, allowing the project to focus more …
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

Dropbox dropouts and biz rebels: Stay in control ... inhale your own cloud

Build your own cloud - part 2 In part one, I looked at how cloud services can fail you, using the example of the demise of Google Reader and the ensuing feed-ing frenzy. Replacing Google Reader with a self-hosted alternative like TinyTinyRSS isn't too difficult - the OPML format offers reasonably good data portability, which allows you to simply reload your …
opensuse 13 beta 1 screen shot

OpenSUSE 13.1: Oh look, a Linux with YOU in mind (and 64-bit ARMs)

Review Linux distro OpenSUSE 13.1 is a modest but important update that concentrates on stability and overall polish. There are quite a few new features - like the rewritten system configuration utility YaST, new developer tools even a new version of OpenSUSE for Raspberry Pi - but 13.1 is really focused on building a rock-solid Linux …
bug on keyboard

Look! GNOME 3.10 (with Fedora 20). Did we mention GNOME 3.10?

Review The biggest development in Fedora 20 (aka Heisenbug), which recently hit beta, isn’t something unique to Fedora at all. It’s the GNOME 3.10 desktop. Fedora's live desktop CD has long served up GNOME by default, but Ubuntu is moving to Unity, OpenSUSE has focused more on KDE and Mint is forging its own path with Cinnamon 2.0. All …
Kirk and Spock contemplate castles built in the air

If you're not paying, you're product: If you ARE paying, it's no better

Build your own cloud - 1 There's a saying that's gained some popularity online lately: "If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold." When it comes to free online services like the late, lamented Google Reader, this is literally true. You, or at least your eyeballs and attention, are the product being sold …
Cinnamon 2 teaser

Cinnamon Desktop: Breaks with GNOME, finds beefed-up Nemo

Review The Cinnamon Desktop project recently released version 2, a major overhaul of the desktop environment that's best known as the default option for Linux Mint's flagship release. Cinnamon 2.0 will be part of Linux Mint 16, "Petra", scheduled for release towards the end of November. The team behind Cinnamon plans to backport the 2. …

Not so Saucy after all: Ubuntu reveals Mirless Salamander... and what, no Britney?

Review The Ubuntu that Canonical has delivered this autumn is notable for what's missing. Canonical has delivered Ubuntu 13.10 on time. Saucy Salamander, as this release is known, has a few new features but the real news is what's not there: Mir/XMir. Ubuntu 13.10 was to mark the turning point of what may be Ubuntu's biggest leap to …

The legacy IE survivor's guide: Firefox, Chrome... more IE?

Windows XP and IE6 users will be thrown to the wolves on 9 April, 2014. That's when Microsoft finally – after more than a decade – stops releasing security updates for operating system and browser. Twelve years after it was released, IE6, Microsoft legacy web browser, refuses to die, with usage ranging from 0.2 per cent market …
That Britney Spears nude cover in full

Ubuntu 13.10: Meet the Linux distro with a bizarre Britney Spears fixation

Review On the surface, based on the second beta just released, Ubuntu 13.10 is shaping up to be a solid, if slightly dull, Linux distro. There have been no major visual changes to the desktop and only a couple of expanded features for the Unity Dash, which means 13.10 – due 17 October - won't look all that different from the last …
opensuse 13 beta 1 screen shot

OpenSUSE uncorks a fine Ruby-red Bottle: Beta 13.1 didn't give me a hangover

Review The beta preview of openSUSE 13.1, released this month, shows this distro is waddling in the footsteps of its Linux brethren. Codenamed, rather curiously, Bottle, openSUSE 13.1 has had work done under the hood that lays the groundwork for forthcoming features. The lower levels have had major updates in this version, such as the …

Penguins, prepare to get SPACED OUT: Ubuntu 13.10's Mir has docked

Review Looks can be deceiving, as proved by the first beta of the latest Ubuntu – version 13.10, or Saucy Salamander – which is available today. This beta doesn't look that different from the last release of Ubuntu earlier this year, but hidden beneath the surface is what might be the biggest change Ubuntu will be making for some time …
from http://www.linux.org.ru

No distro diva drama here: Penguinista favourite Debian turns 20

Anniversary Today Debian marks a milestone not many pieces of software last long enough to see: its 20-year anniversary. Debian has become the foundation of dozens of other Linux distros. It’s the basis of all manner of embedded systems – which means many of the uninitiated use it without knowing – and it boasts a customers list spanning …

Fedora back on track with Schrödinger's cat

Fedora 19, codenamed Schrödinger's Cat, follows the much-delayed Fedora 18 and the good news is things looks to be back on track. Not only is the release just a week away but it also sees Fedora returning to its core focus: building useful software for developers. The Ubuntu Linux distro may be busy tricking out its new touch- …
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Firefox OS mobilises HTML5, without the added Steve Jobs

Review Do you want to build applications for Firefox OS? The first step is to head over to the Mozilla website and sign up for a developer kit. Just kidding, there's no developer kit. There are also no developer fees and no new programming languages to learn. You can start building apps for Firefox OS today, using nothing more than …
Linux Mint

Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits

Review Mint is a relative newcomer to the world of popular desktop distros, but it has recently started to take the GNOME and Unity-hating Linux world by storm. The recent release of version 15, called Olivia, should help it secure a reputation as “the” alternative desktop. If you'd like a modern set of desktop tools without a …
Photo of the Keon Firefox OS phone from Geeksphone

Firefox OS: Go away fanbois, fandroids - you wouldn't understand

Hands-on The Western world's smartphone market has devolved into a duopoly of Apple's iOS and Google's Android. In the rest of the world, however, the mobile story has yet to be written... and this is where Mozilla hopes users will embrace its mobile operating system, Firefox OS. The browser-maker wants Firefox OS to be the gateway drug …

Fedora's Schrödinger's Cat Linux gives coders claws for thought

Review The Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, devised by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, pits the theory of quantum superposition against what we observe to be true. In the world of Linux distros, in theory the beta version of Fedora 18 was slated for release in early October 2012 with the aim of producing a final build in November that …

Good news: Debian 7 is rock solid. Bad news: It's called Wheezy

Review Debian, the daddy to many a Linux distro including Ubuntu and Mint, has been updated for the first time in more than two years. Codenamed Wheezy, Debian 7 actually brings the GPL operating system up to speed with some of its more famous offspring, though, true to its roots, Debian's stable release continues to focus on just that …
ubuntu 13.04 photolens

Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

First the bad news: most of the big new features planned for Ubuntu 13.04, or Raring Ringtail, haven’t made it – they’ve been pushed back to 13.10, due in October. Despite this, the Ringtail is actually rather good. Assuming you're a fan of the Unity interface and got past the privacy fiasco of last year - either because you’ve …
The Register breaking news

OpenSUSE 12.3: Proof not all Linux PCs are Um Bongo-grade bonkers

Review The openSUSE project is back on track. This week version 12.3 of the Linux operating system distribution was unleashed, right on time, as a free download. This will be seen as good news after the organisational restructuring and delays that plagued the release of openSUSE 12.2 last year. While 12.2 was delayed, it was worth the …
Ubuntu RHS teaser

Ubuntu 13.04 beta touts search privacy - before it hooks in eBay, IMDb etc

Review Linux distro Ubuntu 13.04, which hit its first beta today, is already showing promise: there are small but very useful usability tweaks planned for Ubuntu's Unity user interface. Assuming you've managed to get past last year’s privacy fiasco, either by being comfortable with Canonical sending your search queries to Amazon and …
Licensed under creative commons (Kafa4Prez) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

Distro guide Linux, it is said, is all about choice. Indeed, the ability to choose, well, pretty much everything, is probably the best thing about Linux. But the huge variety from which you can choose - ranging from distro and desktop to window manager - can also be overwhelming for newcomers. If you've ever thought about abandoning Windows …
By Emilio Labrador - licensed under Creative Commons

The Spherical Cow lands, spits out Anaconda

Review Fedora 18, Spherical Cow, is here. Finally. The Fedora Project has never been one for precision roadmaps, but previously it has managed to stay pretty close to its official May and October release schedule. Spherical Cow, however, proved to be a difficult beast - it is nearly three months late. The numerous delays can be chalked …