[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.

Android Wear Gets Its First Big Update


Google’s Android Wear on Thursday got its first major update, bringing GPS support and offline music capabilities to the wearables platform. “Android Wear is great for tracking things like route, distance and speed,” wrote Kenny Stoltz, Android Wear product manager. “Before today, you had to keep your phone close at hand. Starting today, Wear supports watches with GPS sensors, so you can enjoy these features regardless of where your phone’s at.” The platform’s new offline music capabilities enable users to store music on their smartwatch too.

Calculate Linux Provides Consistency by Design


Calculate Linux 14 is a distribution designed with home and SMB users in mind. It is optimized for rapid deployment in corporate environments as well. Calculate gives users something no other Linux distro makes possible. The Xfce desktop session is customized to imitate the look of the KDE desktop environment. This design approach goes a long way toward making Calculate Linux a one-distro-fits-all solution. Individual users or entire departments can fine-tune user preferences and features without changing the common appearance or performance.

Reading and Writing and Open Source


Digital textbooks with open-licensed content — and sometimes even complete open source textbooks — are two publishing models that are starting to change the way students and teachers interact with subject material. The budget-busting prices of traditional printed textbooks and the ubiquity of mobile devices in schools have provided textbook authors and educational leaders with convincing reasons to give students an alternative. Textbook publishers are offering digital alternatives to traditional printed books.

FOSS and the Fear Factor


In a world that’s been dominated for far too long by the Systemd Inferno, Linux fans will have to be forgiven if they seize perhaps a bit too gleefully upon the scraps of cheerful news that come along on any given day. Of course, for cheerful news, there’s never any better place to look than the Reglue effort. Run by longtime Linux advocate and all-around-hero-for-kids Ken Starks, as alert readers may recall, Reglue just last week launched a brand-new fundraising effort on Indiegogo to support its efforts over the coming year.

For Gentoo Linux Initiates, Iron Penguin May Be Too Heavy


Gentoo Linux can be either an experienced Linux user’s ideal desktop choice or a new user’s worst computing nightmare. I am not talking about being new to the Linux OS. I mean just plain and simple new to Gentoo Linux. The Linux OS has many dozens of specialized distributions. Many of them are easy to install and need only a few settings adjustments to perform as desired. Some distros, however, can be a bit more challenging to master. Gentoo Linux is very easy If you don’t go beyond the live session in the most recent Iron Penguin release.

Dronecode Project: Linux based platform for UAVs backed by Linux Foundation is in the making

dronecode-linux

Whether it is the driverless cars technology or high-end robotics, Linux is becoming the preferred platform of choice in many high-tech fields. Dronecode Project by Linux Foundation is the latest attempt at creating a new unified Linux based platform to be used in Drones of the future.

Dronecode Project by Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation announced on October 13 at LinuxCon Europe the founding of the Dronecode Project. The goal of this project is to unify existing open-source drone projects and assets under a non-profit structure. Eventually, there will be a Linux based platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

The project’s founding members include 3D Robotics, Baidu, Box, DroneDeploy, jDrones, Laser Navigation, SkyWard, Squadrone System, Walkera and Yuneec. It is reported elsewhere that Qualcomm and Intel are also joining the efforts to build a truly opensource platform for UAVs.

Dronecode already has more than 1,200 developers working the project. The platform is also being adopted by many of drone companies such Skycatch, DroneDeploy, HobbyKing, Horizon Ag, PrecisionHawk, Agribotics, and Walkera.

[Further reading @ ZDNet.com]

Lollipop Could Make Android Stickier


Google on Wednesday unwrapped Android 5.0 Lollipop, officially replacing the “Android L” code name by which the latest version of its mobile platform previously had been known.
“Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android, with over 5,000 new APIs for developers,” wrote Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Android, Chrome & Apps, in a blog post. “Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit.”

Report: Open Source Needs to Get With the Security Program


Open source developers apparently don’t adhere to best practices such as using static analysis and conducting regular security audits, found Coverity’s Spotlight report, released Wednesday. The Coverity Scan service, which is available at no charge to open source projects, helped devs find and fix about 50,000 quality and security defects in code last year. That number can be attributed in part to continuous improvement, which lets users find previously undetected defects.

Netflix now works out of the box!

netflix on ubuntu 14.10

The ordeal is finally over folks. No need for workarounds and troubleshoots anymore, Netflix works out of the box in Ubuntu and hopefully other Linux OSes via latest Google Chrome stable.


Netflix on Ubuntu is a non-issue from now on

Netflix and Steam were high up in the wishlist for many Ubuntu users. Steam materialised about two years ago and Steam for Linux has kept on adding games ever since. Although there were workarounds to make Netflix work in Ubuntu all long, there were all just that, workarounds. Now, all you need is the latest Chrome and Netflix works out of box in Ubuntu!

netflix on ubuntu 14.10

The user-agent switching hack was working so well for me anyway, so this doesn’t change much in my case. But it is a welcome addition no matter what. Now I could simply recommend the latest Chrome Stable to anyone who wants Netflix on Ubuntu.

The only drawback is the fact that, you have to have Google Chrome to make it work. As you all know, Ubuntu comes with Firefox by default and Netflix won’t work without hacks such as pipelight and such. The latest Google Chrome stable for Linux comes with the required DRM module called Encrypted Media Extension or EME for short.

I tested this on Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn and and elementary OS Freya 0.3 which is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. In both systems, Netflix works just great using nothing but the latest Google Chrome stable. The updated libnss3 files are the only bottleneck as far as I understand. Since I already had an upgraded libnss3 package in elementary OS Freya (which was required for user-agent switching hack to work), I’m not sure if the updates have started to make it work for Ubuntu 14.04 already. Can anybody please confirm?

And Now for Something Completely Different


Well it’s a good thing we here in the Linux community had a refreshing and refocusing break recently, because last week it was back onto the hot coals once again. The Systemd inferno — which Linux Girl is starting to think of as “The Blaze That Must Not Be Named” — has spread even further, your trusty reporter is dismayed to report, extending now to encompass the entire FOSS community. The accelerant this time? “Quite a sick place” is how Red Hat engineer and Systemd developer Lennart Poettering described the open source community.