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LINUX BLOG SAFARI

An Indecent Proposal: Microsoft and Red Hat?

Good ideas can arise in virtually countless ways, but sometimes all it takes is someone to ask the simple question, "What if?" That, in fact, is just what happened in an article at GigaOM recently, though it wasn't until several weeks later that the idea proposed began to pick up steam. What was sai...

Nokia Mixes It Up With New Android X Family

Nokia on Monday confirmed months of speculation with the unveiling of its X family of smartphones running Android. The X, X+ and XL are priced at $123, $136 and $150, respectively. Like Nokia's low-end Asha line, the X devices come in bright colors. They borrow some of Asha's other well-received fea...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

A World of Skins Add Beauty to the Joy of ExDialer Pro

I was banging my head against the wall the other day because the dialer on my aging Motorola Photon 4G stopped working. The phone has been a bit flaky recently. Normally what I'd do -- and recommend doing -- is upgrade the OS to a later version while at the same time doing a hard reset on the device...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Yuilop: Free-to-Mobile Calling and SMS – With a Catch

I know, from correspondence that I receive, that readers of this column are pretty global, spread all over the world and in some pretty distant places. That's why I was intrigued when I came across VoIP Android app Yuilop. Here's an app that promises to provide the hitherto unknown Holy Grail of int...

LINUX PICKS AND PANS

Netrunner Sprints Ahead of the Linux Distro Pack

"Enigma" may be the nickname of the latest release of the Netrunner Linux distro, but there's actually nothing enigmatic about it. In fact, Netrunner 13.06 -- also known as "Netrunner 5" -- delivers one of the most satisfying out-of-the-box desktop experiences I have had in quite some time. I spend ...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

1 Small App, 1 Giant Feather in Linux’s Cap

What a difference a day makes, as the old saying goes -- or, perhaps more aptly here in the Linux community, what a difference an app makes. Which app, you may ask? Why that would be Microsoft Office for Android, of course -- the arrival of which a few weeks ago has caused no shortage of jubilation ...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Android’s Audacious Desktop Debut

Well temperatures have climbed discouragingly of late here in the Northern reaches of the Linux blogosphere, with the result that there's often been standing room only down at the frostily air-conditioned Broken Windows Lounge. Linux Girl's most dreaded month is now officially upon us, so it's time ...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

WhatsApp Is Killing the SMS Messenger

What happens when an industry gouges its customers for years, and then technology comes along that allows consumers to circumvent the gouger? Customers leave in droves is what happens, and it's WhatsApp and its ilk that are enabling the exodus. If you're unfamiliar with WhatsApp Messenger and its br...

LINUX PICKS AND PANS

Mozillux: A Nice Linux Distro With a Unique Software Set

At first glance, French Mozillux may look a lot like LXDE-based Lubuntu Linux. Don't be fooled. This year-old Linux distro, which targets both beginners and intermediate users, offers a surprisingly comprehensive selection of installed software for users with a wide range of interests. It's easily a...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

GrooVeIP’s a Great Backup for Minute-Slurping Calls

My first question to the desk clerk at a hotel in a strange country is no longer, "What time does the restaurant close?" It's more often, "Where I can get a SIM card?" $2-a-minute voice and $10-a-megabyte Internet roaming in many parts of the world make acquiring a local card a must. I recently had ...

PRODUCT PROFILE

The Smart TV Shopping Saga: Size and Power Matter

To buy a flashy new ultra-thin framed 3D TV or not: Like many consumers over the holiday buying hustle, I struggled with that question. I finally gave in and decided to buy one. That decision was not an impulse-only submission, however. I was toying for a while with replacing my aging 42-inch plasma...

LINUX PICKS AND PANS

Calligra Productivity Suite: Too Much Trouble

The Calligra Suite is an unusual compilation of office tools with much potential -- but it has a good deal of maturing to do before it can advance beyond its mediocre performance following a debut almost three years ago. Calligra is a fork of KDE's KOffice that grew out of unresolved disputes among ...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

RingCentral Didn’t Ring My Chimes

I've been looking for an alternative to Google's Google Voice product that provides one number for all my phones -- mobiles and landline -- and includes online voicemail and discounted calling. Google Voice is a fine product, and I've had exemplary use out of it, but it has a couple of failings rela...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Remote Web Desktop Full: Really Smart App Deserves Better Support

We've been seeing applications that allow you to remotely access desktop PCs for years. They have tended to function on a PC-to-PC connection basis over the Internet -- like Symantec's pcAnywhere software, which is often used for remote PC troubleshooting. More recently, we've been seeing tools that...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

TextFree: An Open, Worldly, No-Fees-Attached Texter

A slew of free texting apps are out there right now, and they have the potential to cut your phone bill by enabling you to bypass your phone carrier's SMS functions. These third-party solutions take advantage of data networks, including the Internet, to send and receive texts, and they let you text ...

LINUX PICKS AND PANS

BleachBit Leaves Your File System Sparkling and Grime-Free

One of the most essential computer maintenance tasks is pruning outdated and orphaned files from the deep, dark dungeons within the Linux filing system. These disconnected scraps and bits are endemic to the file structure in any operating system, Linux included. Weeding the Linux software garden is ...

OPINION

The Death of the Smartphone

Smartphones and tablets might be the current hot technology, but history says it's all just another fad. Twenty years from now, almost nobody will own either device. Seems unbelievable, but the same technology that makes them hot today will make them not tomorrow. Consider what happened to another "...

What’s Hiding Inside Android’s Honeycomb?

Remember the holographic message Princess Leia sent asking Obi Wan Kenobi for help in the movie "Star Wars"" That's apparently what Android 3.0, code-named "Honeycomb," will make mobile communications seem like. "There will be heavy use of 3D-like interfaces throughout to create the impression of a ...

Google Dishes Up Nexus S on Warm Gingerbread

Google released Android 2.3, or Gingerbread, on Monday -- a new version of its open source mobile platform. Gingerbread made its debut on the Samsung Nexus S smartphone. The new platform comes with enhancements such as a more refined touchscreen keyboard for faster typing and greater accuracy. There...

BEST OF ECT NEWS

Rhythmbox Knows the Words and Carries the Tune

Rhythmbox, an integrated music management application, was originally inspired by Apple's iTunes. This open source app works on the Gnome Desktop and is based on the powerful GStreamer media framework. If you have read recent Linux Picks columns, you know that the Linux world of apps gives you sever...

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