Scott Gilbertson

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Web browsers 2015

Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

Weary old web warhorse Internet Explorer (known to thousands of Reg readers' spouses and parents up and down the land simply as "the internet") is destined soon for the dustbin of tech history. After decades of dominance through proprietary lock-in and anti-trust-busted software bundling, the monster lurking in web developer …

Mozilla's ‘Great or Dead’ philosophy may save bloated blimp Firefox

For some time now Firefox, the once mighty web browser, has been bleeding market share and – perhaps more importantly – developer mind share. Between bundling unwanted features such as Pocket, proffering popcorn-worthy CEO dramas atop Mozilla, being led by a seemingly clueless management, and the fact that that Chrome feels …
crunchbang

Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers

Screenshots Linux long ago reached parity with Windows and OS X. That's great for the average user looking to make the switch from either platform to Linux. Indeed distros like Ubuntu, with its Unity desktop, make switching relatively painless. All of the common tools most users want in Windows are also available in Unity, GNOME and other …
Toothpaste image via Shutterstock

Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

Review The underlying packages in Linux Mint 17.2, just released, are largely unchanged. What you will find are a lot of improvements and added polish in everyday tools like the update manager, login screen and the Software Sources app. Sticking with the Ubuntu 14.04 base has given Linux Mint developers the opportunity to focus their …
Cinnamon sticks, image via Shutterstock

Cinnamon 2.6 – a Linux desktop for Windows XP refugees

Review Cinnamon is best known as one of the two default desktops for Linux Mint, which is fast approaching its next major update. Mint 17.2 will include the brand new Cinnamon 2.6, just released, when delivered later this year. So far, so standard – only Cinnamon is no longer just a Linux Mint desktop. Cinnamon is now available …
Bondage man image via Shutterstock

But... I... like... the... PAIN! Our secret addiction to 'free' APIs

Yahoo! is killing off several services to focus on "search, communications and digital content", it's said. Wait, Yahoo! has a search engine? Who knew? What Yahoo! won't have in the very near future is a developer favorite by the name of Yahoo! Pipes. Yahoo! Pipes has always been something of an odd duck, not just within the …
US cashpoint. Pic: Tax Credits

Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Firefox shop Mozilla recently became the latest in the long line of companies big and small trying to push the web from HTTP to the more secure HTTPS protocol. In the post-Snowden world, where everyone from the NSA, GCHQ to your ISP is inspecting and sometimes altering content, HTTPS (which makes such things nearly impossible) …
Fedora 22 with Firefox

Fedora 22: Don't be glum about the demise of Yum – this is a welcome update

Review The big news with Fedora 22, just delivered, is the Fedora project actually managed to stick pretty close to its proposed schedule. Fedora 22 arrived just one week later than scheduled – but what's a week after the month-long delays of the last few release cycles? It would seem that the recent top-down restructuring of the …
Cash on scales. Pic: Images Money, Flickr

You've come a long way, Inkscape: Open-source Illustrator sneaks up

Inkscape recently released version 0.91 of their eponymous open source vector graphics application. As version numbers go this sub version 1.0 milestone is underwhelming, but – and it’s a big ”but” – it is the result of four plus years hard work that’s paid of by delivering a major leap forward for the would-be Adobe Illustrator …
Xubuntu core desktop

Stripped to the core and full of Xfce: Xubuntu Linux loses it

Review The Xubuntu project recent unveiled a stripped-down build of its Xfce-based Ubuntu: Xubuntu core. Core offers a very basic version of the Xfce desktop, along with the basic look and feel of Xubuntu, but any extras like an office suite, media player, Xfce add-ons or even a web browser will have to be installed separately. The " …
Cowgril Jessie

Systemd hee hee: Jessie Debian gallops (slowly) into view

Review The Debian Project may not be that slow with new releases, but sometimes it feels like it. The project typically releases a new version "when it's ready," which seems to work out to about once every two years lately. Debian 8, branded Jessie, in keeping with the Toy Story naming scheme (Jessie was the cowgirl character in Toy …
lightning_cropped

Low price, big power: Virtual Private Server picks for power nerds

Running your own virtual private server (VPS) was once limited to either profitable side projects or those with money to burn. The relatively high monthly costs (often $40-$60 per month) made it too expensive for personal projects that didn't generate income and more serious endeavors often used dedicated hardware, leaving VPS …
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Relax, it's just Ubuntu 15.04. AARGH! IT'S FULL OF SYSTEMD!!!

Review Systemd is here. It’s arrived in Vivid Vervet, the latest, just-released distro of Ubuntu – 15.04. Most users will notice very little overall difference in this latest Ubuntu release, but it’s this change that packs the biggest punch. There are a couple of new things that make 15.04 worth the upgrade from previous versions, but …
A US Army M1A1 Abrams tank heads out on a mission from Forward Operating Base MacKenzie in Iraq on October 27, 2004

Docker ascendancy's ignites a flak-in-the-box cloud arms race

Containerisation has taken the data centre by storm. Led by Docker, a start-up that's on a mission to make development and deployment as simple as it should be, Linux containers are fast changing the way developers work and devops teams deploy. Containerisation is such a powerful idea that it's only slightly hyperbolic to …
Xfce 4.12 desktop

Torvalds' temptress comes of age: Xfce 4.12 hits the streets

Review April brings not just showers but traditionally a new release of Ubuntu, this time 15.04. With Ubuntu 15.04 will come Xubuntu and with that an update to Linus Torvalds’ briefly favoured Linux desktop (Xfce), version 4.12. Some of what's new in Xfce 4.12 has already been a part of Xubuntu for some time, but Ubuntu 15.04 will see …

Locally Integrated Menus back on Vivid Vervet’s menu

Review Ubuntu 15.04, Vivid Vervet, just might be one of the biggest Ubuntu releases in several years. It might be more remarkable, though, for what you don’t see. The beta is now here, ahead of this month’s scheduled release. Anyone paying any amount of attention to the Linux world over the past couple of years has likely at least …
Peekabooty - censorship bears

Thanks a lot, Google, for snatching .dev for yourself. It's not like the rest of us wanted it

Comment The internet is gradually gaining a whole lot of new top-level domain names, from the useful (.app, .dev) to the more whimsical (.ninja, .lol), thanks to ICANN's dot-word gold rush. Most of these dot-words are available to world + dog to register fresh domains, such as theregister.science. However, some owners are keeping their …
Vivaldi

Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers

Browsers have been making a comeback. There have been three brand new browsers released and even Firefox, which seems to be sliding further into irrelevancy every day, has released a new version aimed at developers and claims to be working on a WebKit-based version for iOS devices. It’s a refreshing moment. After an initial …

First peek at the next Ubuntu 15.04 nester line-up

Ubuntu 15.04 is here – almost. The first beta of Vivid Vervet has been delivered, and with it have come images of the penguin flock that nestles on this OS. I looked at Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and Ubuntu MATE but there’s also Lubuntu and the China-centric Ubuntu Kylin, which I didn’t test. These are beta releases and …

Elementary, my dear penguin: It's the second beta of Freya

Review Elementary Linux has released the second beta of the imminent Freya release of its OS. Elementary follows a somewhat unusual release schedule of major updates every 18 or so months, with two betas at the six- and 12-month marks. That's not the only way Elementary differs in relation to other distros. Almost everything on the …

You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

After such a banner year of Linux releases it might seem overly pessimistic to pause and ask this question: is there a future beyond this? The answer is, of course, "yes" – or rather it's yes, but... The qualifying "but" can take many forms, depending on who you talk to and what their stake is in the game. Even if you take the …

YEAR of the PENGUIN: A Linux mobile in 2015?

It's nearly impossible to sum up an entire year of developments in something as large and nebulous as the world of desktop Linux, especially in a year like this one which has seen some the best releases that projects like Mint, Fedora and openSUSE have put out to date. At the same time the distro that's closest to being a …

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 flavours: 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 …