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LINUX PICKS AND PANS

FastComputer: Fussy but Fixable

FastComputer Linux is a disappointing experience that almost fails. It is poorly designed, has little community support, and lacks its own home base and identity, all of which contribute to an identity crisis. Its home -- on Sourceforge.com -- lacks much in attractiveness, as does the distro. The L...

$9 Debian-Based C.H.I.P. Computer Is a Kickstarter Smash

C.H.I.P., a Linux-based mini-PC priced at just $9, is receiving an overwhelming response on Kickstarter. Launched last Thursday with a funding goal of $50,000, it has chalked up more than 16,000 backers who have shelled out upwards of $815,000. The project still has 25 days to go. The tiny open sour...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

The Return of MeeGo: Phones and Apps and Games, Oh My!

One of the best things about being part of the Linux community is that life is absolutely never boring around here. Take MeeGo, for instance. First, it came, as a result of the merger between Maemo and Moblin. Then, it went -- namely, when Tizen arrived. Now? You guessed it: It's back! Finnish start...

Android Tablets and Windows 8: Let the Games Begin

Windows 8 is on its way. In fact, it's already here, in a manner of speaking. Microsoft recently released what it called a "consumer preview" version of the OS. When the final versions arrive, it will finally give Microsoft a leg up in the tablet market. That might take a bite out of the market sha...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Choosing Computer Tools for Tiny Geeks

For some children, it may be their two front teeth that sit atop this year's Christmas list. For others, however, it's items of a more technological sort. Those lucky enough to be receiving the latter type of present this year have been the focus of a lengthy discussion in the Linux blogosphere of l...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

On Games, Google and Geeks’ T-Shirt Sizes

You know it's a good week on the blogs when one of the top stories on Digg is a graph of Linux users' T-shirt sizes. Yes indeed, said graph -- comparing the sizes of attendees at the Linux Symposium in 1999 with those of last year's participants -- drew some 800 Diggs and 100 comments on the site, n...

Fitness Tips for Chair-Bound Computer Users

When Jeffrey Spencer prepared for his college exams, he would tape his notes to the handlebars of his bike and ride to school, studying all the while. To him, it made perfect sense. "I am a kinetic learner, which means I learn and mentally perform best when I am moving," he says. To visual or audito...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

Lies, Damn Lies and Computer Security

During a break in a series of discussions on US HIPAA compliance for Canadian health care players, one of the attendees regaled the group with a long brag about how his company's techies had defeated a phishing attack. According to the story, the company's wizards had discovered a phishing attack ba...

OPINION

Lies, Damned Lies and Computer Security

During a break in a series of discussions on US HIPAA compliance for Canadian health care players, one of the attendees regaled the group with a long brag about how his company's techies had defeated a phishing attack. According to the story, the company's wizards had discovered a phishing attack ba...

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Kano’s Alejandro Simon: If This, Then Do That

Imagine a world where playing Pong and Minecraft gives people the power to program their computers. That world is Kano. It took the idea behind Lego to teach computer programming by playing first-generation computer games. Kano launched on Kickstarter in November 2013. More than 13,000 people from s...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

Hitting the Linux Gaming Jackpot

If you had the option to pick your own price for a computer game that only runs on your Linux rig, would you pay to play? Not if you are a typical Linux gamer. At least, that's the popular perception of fans of free and open source software. Linux is available freely. So why pay for a game -- or any...

It’s a Roll of the Dice for Linux Game Makers

If you had the option to pick your own price for a computer game that only runs on your Linux rig, would you pay to play? Not if you are a typical Linux gamer. At least, that's the popular perception of fans of free and open source software. Linux is available freely. So why pay for a game -- or any...

The New Dungeon Master

It must be tough to be 34 and already see your children overshadow you. That's what's happened to "Dungeons & Dragons," the roleplaying game that for decades has drawn geeks to roll dice and pretend to be elves, sorcerers and other fantasy heroes. It has never quite become mainstream entertainment, ...

EU Anti-Patent Lobbyist Steps Down

One of the most vehement opponents to European patents is throwing in the towel before the fight is officially over. Florian Mueller announced today that he is stepping down as manager of NoSoftwarePatents.com, the European anti-software patent campaign, and returning to his computer games business...

LINUX PICKS AND PANS

Cleverly Reimagined Slax Distro Pushes Portable Linux’s Limits

Slax Linux is a handy portable operating system that can be a useful alternative to bulky, more complicated Linux options that install to a hard drive. However, it is far from a complete out-of-the-box solution. That is not a bad thing, though. Slax works. Copying just one folder from the downloaded...

LINUX PICKS AND PANS

Austrumi Linux Has Great Potential if You Speak Its Language

Austrumi Linux is an unusual distribution. With a little more polish, it could be a good tool for running the Linux operating system on any computer you touch without changing anything on the hard drive. Last updated on Oct. 3 to version 4.08, Austrumi Linux is a bootable live Linux distribution bas...

LINUX PICKS AND PANS

Neptune 5: A Practically Perfect Plasma-Based Distro

ZevenOS' Neptune 5.0, released earlier this month, offers a refreshing take on a classic KDE-based Linux distro. Neptune 5 Refresh replaces version 4.5 and closes a dormant period that had produced no new releases for more than two years. The wait may be worth it for Linux fans who are devoted to th...

REVIEW

Kano: The Can-Do Coding Kit for Kids of All Ages

"So simple a child could do it" -- I have heard that expression abused often in advertising. Yet it aptly applies to the Kano computer kit. Kano is a computer and coding kit that is suitable for all ages. Well, to be truthful, Kano's step-by-step instructions in the included booklets and its simplif...

OPINION

The Linux Desktop Came on Little Cat Feet

Somehow, some way, the year 2010 may have finally been the year of the Linux desktop -- but no one noticed. Maybe no one needed to. In 2010, smartphones got hot, and Android OS smartphones collectively overtook the iPhone in units sold. At the same time, Android tablets gained traction as popular al...

TECHNOLOGY LAW CORNER

The Rocky Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds, Part 3: Copyrights

Copyrights are perhaps the most common type of intellectual property (along with trademarks), and are the first stop when it comes to protecting software-based products. This is because copyrights, which protect a particular expression of an idea, exist automatically upon fixation of an author's wo...

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