[sticky] Tired of paying for Windows? Linux is your answer!

Welcome to PrescottLinux.com, we are a local team dedicated to informing dispirited computer users of the tri-city area that there is an alternative to Microsoft Windows. You may very well have a Dell PC right now, did you know you paid Microsoft a percentage of the cost of that PC? With Microsoft’s versions of Windows, you are paying them for the privilege of providing you with an operating system that will open you up viruses, spyware, and all types of malware. Windows by far is the biggest platform for attracting all the unwanted nuisances floating around on the Internet.

If you have kids in the house going online, then you probably have had problems with your Windows computer catching a virus, and all the popups, hijacking of your computer, etc. It is an expensive nightmare to try to get that computer cleaned out. That’s where Linux has a huge advantage over Windows- It is designed from the ground-up with security in mind.

Linux is Free and Open Source Software, a concept known by the acronym, FOSS. As such, you don’t have to pay for Linux, most of the software that runs on Linux is also free and open source. All your favorite applications, such as Mozilla Firefox, web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird E-mail client, Sun’s Open Office, their office suite that is compatible with Microsoft’s Office, as well as many other programs you are probably using already.

Linux also gives you freedom from knowing that there isn’t a big, centralized corporation controlling what do you with your computer, with just its shareholders in mind.

We will add more posts here to explain the virtues of Linux periodically and hope to inform the public.

Samsung Z Delay Prompts Tizzy Over Tizen


Samsung has delayed the launch of its Samsung Z smartphone running the Tizen OS, which was scheduled for Q3 release in Russia. The move, just short of two months after the Samsung Z’s launch at the Tizen Developers Conference, sparked a death watch for the device. However, Samsung said it needed to further enhance the Tizen ecosystem. Samsung has had several setbacks with the Tizen smartphone. NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest carrier, and another key backer, French carrier Orange, canceled plans to carry a Tizen smartphone earlier this year.

France’s 4th largest city, Toulouse, saves a million Euros by migrating to LibreOffice

Toulouse saves a million Euros by migrating to LibreOffice

City of Munich saved more than €11.7 million in a decade and were among the earliest to understand the benefits of adopting open source and Linux. Then came UK with sweeping changes to its policies favoring LibreOffice over proprietary alternatives. Not only that. Just recently, they even adopted ODF as UK’s official document format. Governments and public offices around the world are slowly waking up to the hard fact that proprietary software may not be in their best long-term interest after all, even if you ignore the cost-factor. Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city, is the latest to jump on the bandwagon.

In Toulouse, 90 per cent of the desktops now run LibreOffice
Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city, has saved 1 million euro by migrating all its desktops to LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools. “Free software and open source in general is now an established part of the city’s comprehensive digital policy, and the open model promotes economic development and employment in the region”, according to a study published by the Open Source Observatory and Repository today.

Moving to LibreOffice is one of the key projects in the city’s IT strategy, the study reports. Currently several thousand people out of the 10,000 who work for the city and Toulouse Métropole use LibreOffice daily. The migration started in 2012, following the political decision in 2011. The switch took a year and a half, and 90 per cent of the desktops now run LibreOffice, the study finds.

Switching to free software results in cost-savings, the study quotes current and former city officials as saying. “Software licenses for productivity suites cost Toulouse 1.8 million euro every three years. Migration cost us about 800,000 euro, due partly to some development. One million euro has actually been saved in the first three years. It is a compelling proof in the actual context of local public finance”, the study quotes Erwane Monthubert, who was responsible for the city’s IT policy until April this year, as saying.

It’s not like the French are new to all this either. It was reported earlier that the French Gendarmerie, a branch of the French Armed Forces in charge of public safety, has been a leader in moving away from proprietary software towards FOSS alternatives in recent years. As early as in 2004, they decided to stop using Microsoft Office and embraced OpenOffice and the Open Document Format instead. That meant 90,000 PCs moved to OpenOffice, and 20,000 Office licenses were no longer needed. Then they adopted Firefox for web browsing and Thunderbird for email by 2006. And 2007 saw Gimp and VLC installed across the network.

And then, in 2008, French Gendarmerie decided to go a step further and began migrating its systems from Windows to Ubuntu. Initially 5,000 PCs were switched to Ubuntu in 2008, that went up to 20,000 by 2011, and currently sits at 37,000 Ubuntu PCs.

Android’s Fake ID Could Put Millions in Jeopardy


An Android vulnerability that exists in every version from v2.1 Eclair to v. 4.3 Jelly Bean could expose millions of users, Bluebox Security has warned. The flaw lets attackers fake the certificates of specially privileged parties, such as Adobe and Google Wallet, and serve them up with malware that bypasses detection by Android. Attackers then can take over every application running on an Android device. The flaw, which BlueBox calls — what else? — “Fake ID,” also might impact Android forks, including Amazon’s Fire OS.

‘cool-old-term’: This retro styled Terminal Emulator could be the coolest we’ve seen yet!

cool-old-term for ubuntu

We’ve seen Terminal Emulators of all sizes and shapes for Linux, but nothing like this yet. ‘cool-old-term’ is one gorgeous looking Terminal emulator. 


How to install cool-old-term Terminal Emulator in Ubuntu 14.04, Linux Mint 17?

  • Developed by Swordfish’s Labs,  cool-old-term is a terminal emulator which tries to mimic the look and feel of the old cathode tube screens. It has been designed to be eye-candy, customizable, and reasonably lightweight.
  • Uses the Konsole engine which guarantees a trouble-free experience. Here’s what you need to do install and use cool-old-term in Ubuntu 14.04.
  • Copy-paste the following command into Terminal.
sudo apt-get install git build-essential qmlscene qt5-qmake qt5-default qtdeclarative5-dev qtdeclarative5-controls-plugin qtdeclarative5-qtquick2-plugin libqt5qml-graphicaleffects qtdeclarative5-dialogs-plugin qtdeclarative5-localstorage-plugin qtdeclarative5-window-plugin
  • All the important dependencies are now installed. Compile and install ‘cool-old-term’ in Ubuntu 14.04 by using the following commands. 
git clone https://github.com/Swordifish90/cool-old-term.git
cd cool-old-term
cd konsole-qml-plugin
qmake && make && make install
cd ..
./cool-old-term
  • Execute the commands one by one. The final command will launch the cool-old-term for you. Here’s a few more screenshots. Let us know how well it worked for you.
cool-old-term retro style terminal

cool-old-term retro style terminal for Ubuntu 14.04

Microsoft is losing its war on document standards, ODF is now UK’s official document format

odf is uk's official document format

Document standards war were a thing of the past. Microsoft was trying to push its proprietary OpenXML documents format as the new standard while the rest of the world was hoping for a more open, “no-strings attached” open document format (ODF) as the new standard. Eventually Microsoft accepted defeat and promised to support ODF. But the progress was slow. UK government has stepped in now and made it clear that ODF will be its new official standardised document format. Sign of things to come, we believe.

ODF is the new official document format in UK

Here’s what the UK’s Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude had to say about his government’s adoption of ODF: “Government will begin using open formats that will ensure that citizens and people working in government can use the applications that best meet their needs when they are viewing or working on documents together.”

UK’s shift to Open Documnets Format (ODF) is seen as a triumph of open standards over proprietary alternatives by open source community. Official office suites are required to have support of ODF in UK without any exceptions.

“Our long-term plan for a stronger economy is all about helping UK businesses grow. We have listened to those who told us that open standards will reduce their costs and make it easier to work with government. This is a major step forward for our digital-by-default agenda which is helping save citizens, businesses and taxpayers £1.2 billion ($2.05bn) over this Parliament,” the minister added. [Read the full report on ZDNet]

The Shocking Truth About Torvalds’ Home Office


If the Linux world has anything akin to royalty, Linus Torvalds surely must be its monarch. So what could be more natural than for the Linux-loving masses to want to see where he works and lives? Fortunately for FOSS fans, none other than the Linux Foundation has stepped up with an answer to that desire in the form of a video showcasing Torvalds’ home office. Think it’s tidy? Think again. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. At the very least, you’ll come away feeling better about the state of your own work setup.

Privacy Badger: Adblock Plus alternative from EFF to protect your privacy

Privacy Badger is a privacy-protector and ad-blocker tool from the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). Privacy Badger extension for Firefox and Chrome/Chromium.


Privacy Badger by EFF

Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web. It is similar to Adblock Plus or Ghostery, but different in its own ways too. 
Privacy Badger is not an ad-blocker primarily. It is a privacy tool which aims to prevent non-consensual invasions of people’s privacy. Just that EFF badge gives it a lot of credibility even. Privacy Badger is available as an extension for Firefox and Chrome. Get it here

Linux Gaming: If You Build It, Will They Come?


For long-suffering Linux users who have endured the dearth of high-quality action games on their open source desktops, the wait for better game developer support soon may be over. New technology is making Linux more attractive to game makers. In fact, it may keep Linux under the hood, so players will have no clue Linux is inside. Until now, game makers have relied primarily on Windows PCs and gaming consoles powered by proprietary alternatives to the Linux OS. However, Linux-based systems specially designed for gaming are on the rise.

Blackphone, the world’s most private and secure mobile phone is back on sales again

blackphone

The NSA debacle and the unearthing of PRISM surveillance program was nothing short of shock to many. There has been a see change in how technology is perceived since then. From Avatar OS to Blackphone, a host of new projects are keen to bring in a revolutionary change to the world of gadgets and technology. As they say, the only winners of the whole NSA debacle will be those companies that places privacy and security at the forefront.

Blackphone: The Smartphone from the future
The Blackphone is a smartphone developed by SGP Technologies, that will provide encryption for phone calls, emails, texts, and internet browsing. The primary features include the Silent Circle suite of applications, including Silent Phone, Silent Text, and Silent Contacts; anonymous search, private browsing, and VPN from Disconnect; and secure cloud file storage from SpiderOak. Blackphone’s PrivatOS is built on top of Android, which apparently is the most popular mobile phone platform in the world, according to a recent study.

Blackphone went on sales a month ago and was sold-out in no time. New batch is up for sales right now at a sticker price of $629.00. Get it when you can.

blackphone apps

Skype for Linux Redesign Is Ugly but Functional


If you do not mind having a free non-open source Microsoft product on your Linux computer, the latest Skype for Linux release catches up to the Windows and Mac versions, providing most of the features they’ve had for some time. Microsoft rolled out Skype version 4.3.0.37 in mid June. The catch-up release has an updated user interface, some additional features, and lots of bug fixes. The latest Skype for Linux version also got rid of Alsa audio API support. Instead, it supports only Pulse Audio.