[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.

Homegrown Budgie Desktop Shows Off the Beauty – and Beastliness – of Solus Simplicity


The Solus Project version 1.2, released last month, shows considerable maturity in the homegrown Budgie desktop. Solus 1.2 is the second minor release in the Shannon series, built around a custom Budgie desktop developed in-house and the eopkg package manager forked from PiSi. Solus is a Linux distribution built from scratch. The Budgie desktop can be set to emulate the look and feel of the GNOME 2 desktop, but it is a different flavor from the GNOME 2-0 retread, MATE. It is tightly integrated with the GNOME stack.

Google Beefs Up Phone App’s Spam-Fighting Skills


Google on Tuesday released an updated version of its Phone app for Android with a new spam protection feature that warns users when an incoming call is likely to be spam. It also lets them block numbers and report spam. The app is available on Google Play.
The spam warning feature works on Nexus and AndroidOne devices on the T-Mobile USA, Project Fi and Orange France networks. “For me, mobile spam calls are a nightmare,” remarked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Android, Chromebook Make a Sweet Couple


Chrome OS and Android Apps now run together on some Chromebooks. Many, but not all, Chromebook models will get the operating system update that allows it as fall approaches. The Asus Chromebook Flip C100P — the first Chromebook to get the upgrade — is an impressive example of what will come with the hybrid integration of Chrome OS and Android apps. The performance is not flawless, but many of the apps work well enough to offer a nonplussed working experience.

Splice Machine Creates Open Source, Enterprise Split


Splice Machine this week announced it has open sourced its Spark-powered relational SQL database system. The company has set up a cloud-based sandbox for developers to put its new open source Splice Machine 2.0 Community Edition to the test. The company also announced the release of a cluster version and the launch of a developer community site. Splice Machine is a relational database management system, or RDBMS, designed for high-speed performance. The version 2.0 release integrates Apache Spark into its existing Hadoop-based architecture.

Skype for Linux Alpha Draws Cheers, Jeers


Microsoft last week introduced a new Web-based Skype for Linux client in alpha. Based on WebRTC, it uses Microsoft’s next-generation calling architecture. It lets users share files, photos, videos and new emoticons. Users will be able to call others using the latest versions of Skype on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. However, they won’t be able to make or receive calls using earlier versions of Skype for Linux. Microsoft also introduced an alpha version of Skype based on WebRTC for users of Chromebooks or the Chrome browser on Linux.

After years of neglect, A new Skype for Linux Client emerges

After long years of neglect, Skype has reaffirmed its commitment towards Linux platform by announcing a brand new Skype client for Linux, and even goes on to release an Alpha version of the same which you can download and install right now. They come in DEB and RPM packages which must cover a vast variety of Linux platforms.

Finally! A New Skype client for Linux

A brand new Skype for Linux client was officially announced few hours ago. The new version of Skype for Linux is a brand new client using WebRTC, although, the just released Alpha version is not a fully functioning Skype client yet. In our experience, the new client definitely features a faster and more responsive Skype UI. Missing features will be added in the newer releases. Further information on Skype for Linux Alpha can be found here.

And there’s more! Anyone using a Chromebook or Chrome on Linux can now visit web.skype.com and make one-to-one and group voice calls on top of the messaging features they get today. This again is an alpha version of Skype based on WebRTC and inherits the same features of the Alpha version of the Skype for Linux client. Video calling and calls to landlines and mobiles are coming soon to Chrome browsers in Linux and Chromebooks. This looks like a a sea change in Skype’s attitude towards Linux platform. A welcome change I must say. Following download options are available right now. Do share your thoughts.

SiFive Launches Freedom FOSS SoC Platforms


SiFive on Monday announced its flagship Freedom family of system on a chip platforms. The platforms are based on the free and open source RISC-V instruction set architecture that several of the company’s founders created at the University of California at Berkeley. SiFive’s Freedom U500 and E300 platforms take a new approach to SoCs, redefining traditional silicon business models and reversing the industry’s increasingly high licensing, design and implementation costs.

HandyLinux Is a Great Toolbox for Linux Newbies


HandyLinux is a distro that offers a simplified approach to using the Linux desktop operating system. HandyLinux first appeared about three years ago. The latest version, 2.5, was released in early June. The developers make it easy to peal off the “Handy” layers to reveal a more standard Linux environment as users learn the system. Those who no longer need the IT tools included with the initial installation can remove them easily using the Handy2Debian application from the main menu.

Bulgarian Government Embraces Open Source


Bulgaria’s Parliament recently passed legislation mandating open source software to bolster security, as well as to increase competition with commercially coded software. Amendments to the Electronic Governance Act require that all software written for the government be Free and Open Source Software-compliant. The new provisions reportedly took effect this week. Software developer Bozhidar Bozhanov, advisor to one of Bulgaria’s four deputy prime ministers, orchestrated the new law.

HummingBad Mucks Up Android’s Works


More than 85 million Android devices worldwide have been taken over by the Yingmob, a group of China-based cybercriminals who created the HummingBad malware, according to a Check Point report released last week. HummingBad establishes a persistent rootkit on Android devices, generates fraudulent ad revenue, and installs additional fraudulent apps. If it fails to establish a rootkit, it effectively carpet bombs the target devices with poisoned apps. HummingBad has been generating revenue of $300,000 a month, according to Check Point.