HIGHLIGHTGoogle makes a majority of its revenues due to digital ads
Credits : NDTV
HIGHLIGHTGoogle makes a majority of its revenues due to digital ads
Credits : NDTV
Years ago, when I got the first glimpse of the world of Linux and its distributions, all I knew was an operating system named Ubuntu. And still, Ubuntu is one such thing that pops up in many people’s mind when they hear the word Linux.
Soon, I started to get the hang of it and realized that the Linux world wasn’t only about Ubuntu, it also had the GNU software and other important components that constitute a working Linux distribution.
Another important thing I came to know was about how the updates are delivered for the Linux distros. There are two types of Linux distros based on the type of update delivery method, rolling distribution, and fixed release distribution. Both of them have their own pros and cons.
If you’re the one who wants the latest features and services straight out of the production, then, rolling distributions are the best deal for you. A rolling distribution receives new apps and features as soon as they get out of the code factory of its developers. Arch Linux is a well known rolling distro. There are a number of Arch-based, Debian-based, Gentoo-based, as well as standalone rolling distros.
These are also known as Point Release distributions. In this type of distribution, the updates, released as versions, are pushed after a specified time interval. The apps and feature packages are developed in the time between two consecutive updates. These packages are then released as a combined ISO file or via the inbuilt update feature in the Linux distributions. A significant difference is visible in these version number of these major upgrades. For instance, Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus and the newer Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak.
Rolling distributions are a great option to enjoy the treats from developers. But great things do come at a price. The price, in this case, is the testing time for these updates. Rolling distributions may become a shelter for various bugs and vulnerabilities. But it is kind of an advantage to have bugs as they can be easily removed before they could affect the masses.
In the case of fixed release distros, the updates and features are thoroughly tested and tried before making their way to the machines of the users. Most consumer-centric Linux distros are based on fixed release update cycles.
A point of concern for the fixed release distros is that bugs and vulnerabilities undiscovered during the testing phase may be used to compromise the security once the update is released. Security patches and minor updates are pushed for such distros in addition to the regular update cycle which proceeds at its normal pace.
The fixed release distros are more stable than the rolling ones as the features and services causing trouble are repaired during the testing phase. That’s a downside for the rolling distros.
Major versions of the fixed release distros may differentiate themselves in terms of appearance and other noticeable features and software. You need to upgrade to the next major version when it arrives. In the case of rolling distributions, you don’t need to upgrade to the next major version because it doesn’t exist. There is no number attached to Arch Linux, like we have in the case of Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Manjaro.
Nayu OS gives users the ability to use their Chromebooks without being chained to Google’s ecosystem. It also adds a couple of nice features that other Chrome OS alternative don’t have.
Nayu OS is a project from Nexedi, an open source software company based in France. Nayu OS was created with the goal of taking advantage of the speed, low price point and portability of Chromebooks without being tied to Google services and proprietary software.
While Chromium OS already exists to be an open alternative to Chrome OS, Nayu OS goes one step further by adding tools for developers. Nexedi originally created Nayu OS to aid in developing their other projects. They decided to release it to publicly for others to use.
The developer related features include:
The developers are working on a several of new features including:
Because Nayu OS is disconnected from the Google ecosystem, certain standard ChromOS features are turned off.
The Nayu OS project exemplifies why FOSS is so great. If there is a piece of software you use, dollars to doughnuts there is a FOSS alternative available to keep your data safe and give you more features.
I’m a developer, so this OS does appeal to me. However, I appreciate the fact that someone is taking Chromebooks and making them do something useful. This OS make the Chromebook platform an inexpensive way for someone to become a developer.
Have you tried Nayu OS? Does this sound like something useful to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Today’s industry player is the increasingly controversial Apple. Although Apple doesn’t advertise it, Apple has a long-time strong relationship with open source communities. Apple contributes to many open source projects as they incorporate them into iOS and the newly branded macOS, not to mention the pillars of the Apple operating systems being a mix-up of FreeBSD, the Mach Kernel, and the Darwin Kernel, plus much more open source software like the GNU Utils.
So, let’s take a look at the list of top Apple open source projects:
In 2014, Apple shocked the world with the announcement of its Swift programming language. Swift is a modern programming language with loads of features. It has seen unparalleled adoption rates and boasts quite out-of-the-box library considering it can leverage both C and Objective-C libraries and frameworks. Apple surprised the world, yet again, when they decided to open source their new language. Since then, Swift has gained popularity on Apple and Linux platforms.
Initially released in 1998 as KHTML, and part of the KDE project, WebKit has been around for quite some time. WebKit is the rendering engine that powers Safari, both desktop and mobile, as well as Google Chrome, desktop and mobile. WebKit has extensive standards support while maintaining performance, which is key with the sheer amount of media in modern websites. WebKit is a powerful piece of technology that continues to deliver.
These are two frameworks that are nothing but good intentions. ResearchKit is a framework that will allow medical professionals develop applications that can accurately track and measure illness and disease to an unprecedented degree, and combining with CareKit, it puts power in the hands of the patients themselves. Patients can easily supply their doctors with day-to-day updates pertaining to the progression or recession of medical conditions. This benefits both the patients as well as the medical research community. These two open source frameworks can potentially revolutionize medicine.
It’s easy to see that Apple takes open source seriously. They’re major contributors, and not just to the projects they lead. Be sure to check out the links provided to see where else Apple contributes as well as the contributions of other companies.
In 2010 database company Oracle sued Android-owner Google, saying that Android mobile operating system infringes Oracle-owned Java copyrights. Oracle said that Google’s reimplementation of 37 Java APIs is illegal as they are protected by ‘fair use’.
In the latest developments, Google has won the latest round of this legal battle. On Thursday, a jury found that Google didn’t violate fair use doctrine by declaring code and the structure, organization, and sequence of Java APIs.
This battle, that has been going on for the past six years, could have cost the Android-owner about $9 billion in damages.
Google’s Java implementation didn’t reuse Oracle’s copyrighted code. But, to ensure compatibility, Google used a list of function names, also called application programming interface (API), with the same names and function.
Google’s lawyers cited a 1995 ruling that stated that a company didn’t infringe copyright when it created a spreadsheet and organized its menus just like the popular spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3.
This case is also important for open source community because it helps clarify the current copyright rules that tell programmers what “things” they can borrow for their work under fair use. It’s a win for the software developers who are dependent on open and free programming languages to make innovative products.
In the world of programming, very often programmers mimic certain characteristics of other software to ensure functionality. Sometimes they duplicate the command sequences and its characteristics, with different code, to make them compatible with all machines.
However, Oracle is almost certain to appeal the same to the Federal Circuit Appeals Court in near future. Given the Federal Circuit’s track records, there’s a decent chance that lower court’s decision will get overruled.
Have something to add? Feel free to share your comments with us.
No more watery eyes, when you wake up from sleep in the middle of the night to work on your bright computer screen. Your eye savior, f.lux is here. First things first, what is f.lux and why do you need it?
Decreasing the brightness is not that attractive an option, because the blue light emissions from your screen is still significant enough to well up your eyes with water and completely ruin your sleepy state. It is proven that exposure to blue light significantly aids in keeping you awake for a longer time in the night.
To get to the science behind it, here’s why. Most of us don’t know this, but there is another kind of receptor cells beside rods and cones in our retina. It’s called Melanopsin. The discovery was made about 15 years ago. Melanopsin is sensitive to narrow band of blue light in 460-480 nm range. Melanopsis works different functions for different creatures, but that’s another story.
There are two things I’d like to recommend to your reading list to get more information about melanopsin and effect of blue light on sleep:
1) Internal Time by Til Roennberg
2) Research Papers and articles – link
f.lux is a desktop applet for Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch which limits the glow of your screen. Instead, it replaces that with a warm tone. There is no problem for your eyes not to feel comfortable on the screen in the morning. The daylight is sufficient and doesn’t let your eyes feel the glow that the screen throws. But say at 11 PM while you are, say trying to work late after sneaking on your father or wife, you power up your computer and you get instantly taken back by the brightness!
You can reduce the brightness and contrast to a certain extent, but there is a limit to which you can go without compromising your experience. f.lux comes to rescue here. It automatically switches to a warm tone at night and goes back to a brighter shade in the morning.
Don’t worry as it uses only 3.86MB of RAM approximately, is completely free, has no CPU load and works like a charm without any user interference. The working is also fairly simple. You can also customize the way it works, especially how warm you want your screen to be at night.
It does the work by calculating your present location (through google maps)and works according to the sunrise/sunset cycle. The f.lux indicator applet automatically manages the color temperature of your screen based on your latitude and longitude, or if you are in the US, your zip code.
In the preferences panel, you can set your preferred night-time color temperature and see a preview, as well as seeing the current color temperature.
You can even pause the applet if you want to:
To install f.lux on Linux (Ubuntu) open up the terminal and copy paste the following commands one by one.
1.)sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kilian/f.lux 2.)sudo apt-get update 3.)sudo apt-get install fluxgui Here's how it looks! If you are having an error in adding the ppa (the first command), follow this link to troubleshoot it.
A 64-bit version with multiple monitor support is available here: xflux64.tgz
A 32-bit build with support for multiple monitors is available here: xflux-pre.tgz
The Linux GUI of the f.lux applet doesn’t provide as much customizing options as that of the other platforms, so if you are interested in adding features to it, you could do it on its open source code on GitHub.
If you have any other query regarding f.lux, comment your queries below. Do share your experiences as well.