Everyone knows at least one guy who uses Linux. I don't use it myself, but I knew that one guy. He built all his PCs from spart parts, he knew the ins and outs of programming, he was a little bit of an anarchist (ok, more than a little). He fits the bill of the Linux user stereotype-- the young hobbyist and hacker.
But now Linux has a new user. The United States military. Oddly, if I were to describe the military in a few words, hobbyist and hacker would be the dead last words I picked.
Raytheon makes drone and missile systems for the United States. These systems used to run on the Solaris operating system, but the Navy has asked Raytheon to help make some code switches so that they can use Linux for their upcoming unmanned helicopter project, the Mq-8B Fire Scout.
The move is expected to create more intuitive controls for the new unarmed aerial vehicles and save money in the long run. The military originally held that open source software presented too great a security risk for defense applications. It seems that Linux has changed minds.
How do you feel about the Navy's choice to go open source? Chime in in the comments to let us know.
2013 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, while the Monster Tuxedo DNA headphones proved popular as well. Other products that made the list include Sonos Playbar, Microsoft's white Xbox One, and a few others.
Dubbed Ubuntu Edge, the phone will be able to boot into PC mode when docked, with a monitor featuring the full-fledged Ubuntu desktop OS. 128GB of onboard storage is also in the mix, something that the next iPhone is also purported to have. Other key specs include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass 720p display, instead of the Corning Gorilla Glass used in many smartphones today. Early backers can now opt for the day-one price of $600 and then, after initial sale goes public, the price will jump to $830 when the devices launches in May 2014. Here's the full run down of the Ubuntu Edge specs and a video preview:
Read More | Indiegogo
Did you know that Linux Ubuntu is coming to smartphones to take on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry? It's true - and we bring you a first look at the Linux Ubuntu smartphone OS in this video as we interview Canonical's Richard Collins. What do you think of the all gesture-based interface with no hardware buttons? The demo was run on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Check it out!
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Canonical, makers of the open source Linux Ubuntu desktop OS, is in the process of turning Ubuntu into a mobile operating system and has sets its sights on a 2014 launch. The OS boasts an intuitive take on the lock screen, and uses gestures for navigating through the device. However, will this be enough to take on the juggernauts that iOS and Android have become? As of now, even with the power of Microsoft behind it, Windows Phone is still catering to a niche market, and RIM is still staggering to regain its footing as it revamps the BlackBerry operating system (formally QNX, now dubbed BlackBerry 10.) Will the Open Community come through and help propel Ubuntu's mobile OS?
Read More | Ubuntu
Just a few hours ago a video surfaced on Twitter that showed the Microsoft Kinect sensor working on a PC running a Linux open source driver, just 3 hours after the European launch. The driver manages to read the input from both the video and the depth camera on the Kinect, making the information available to PC software. This was done using an open source driver now available online. Of course, this has no immediate use for you and me, but it's the first step that can lead to many cool things. Ever since Kinect was announced, people have commented that it could be used for a myriad of scenarios, such as a cheap motion capture device for animators, or a security system, which could recognize familiar faces and block intruders. Now that it's been demonstrated that the system can indeed be hacked into and linked to a normal PC, expect more code to be written to take advantage of these features in the coming months.
Read More | Open Source Kinect driver
For all of you who run Windows and Linux virutal machines on your Mac by way of Parallels Desktop 5, you should know that the company has released an update this morning aimed at improving performance and enhancing compatibility. The update is recommended for all users of Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac, and is free. Here’s the list of changes:
- Mac folders shared with Windows now work correctly with MS Outlook, Lotus, Quicken and other Windows applications.
- Support for Autodesk Revit 2011 was fixed.
- MS Office 2010 activation is preserved in Boot Camp virtual machines.
- OpenGL now works correctly in Ubuntu 10.04 virtual machines.
- Virtual machines using Boot Camp partitions on 512 GB solid-state disks (SSDs) now work correctly.
- The problem with invisible virtual machines list on new MacBook Pros (released in early 2010) was fixed.
- A rare problem with Windows virtual machine’s screen turning black after upgrading to Mac OS X v10.6.3 was fixed.
- Problems with Parallels Service stopping to respond when the Parallels Desktop settings file is corrupt were fixed.
- Problems with screen resolution in Mac OS X Server v10.6.3 virtual machines were fixed.
You can get a copy of Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac for $10 off with $175 in free software.
For all of you running the Google Chrome browser on Mac and Linux platforms, you’ll wanna update to the latest version of the beta, which includes support for extensions, as well as bookmark syncing. There are already over 2,200 extensions available in the Chrome Extensions Gallery, so you can get a bunch more functionality in your browser, dare we say, a more Firefox-like experience, just by updating. Seriously, go do it. Oh, and if you need to see how it all works visually, hit the demo video above that Google put together.
Read More | Google Chrome
You may not know this, but the underground Swiss Army knife of video playing software known as VLC, a project that started 8 and a half years ago, has finally hit version 1.0. Along the new version comes plenty of new features, including high definition codecs, AirTunes streaming, support for Blu-Ray linear PCM, and plenty of bug fixes. If you play video on your computer, you’ll definitely want to give this one a download to try it out.
VLC 1.0 is completely free and is available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Read More | VLC Media Player
Cuba launched Linux Nova last week at a Havana computer conference on “technological sovereignty.” The government feels that Microsoft systems are a potential threat to their country because they say U.S. security agents have access to codes. Besides that, they say that the trade embargo makes it difficult to get the software legally and update it. Dean of the School of Free Software, Hector Rodriguez, claims that about 20% of the computers are currently using Linux but feels that that figure could climb to more than 50% in 5 years.
Read More | Reuters
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