1st Day New gTLD Totals .Team 2643 .Show 1310; .Jewelry 961

Three new gTLD’s went into General Availability (GA) on Wednesday.

Including domain names registered in the Sunrise Period by trademark holders and domain names registered in the Early Access Program (EAP) for an extra fee, here are the totals after the first day of GA:

.Team 2,643

.Show 1,310

.Jewelry 961

Another new gTLD extension entered an EAP period on Wednesday, .Tech which had 236 domain names registered in the Sunrise period by trademark holders.

Article source: http://www.thedomains.com/2015/07/31/1st-day-new-gtld-totals-team-2643-show-1310-jewelry-961/

HP ProBook 455 G2: A low-cost business notebook for Ubuntu lovers [Review]

HP 455

Most of the laptops you can buy come with Windows pre-installed. Obviously the latest batch have Windows 10 on them, with more being announced daily. If you prefer Linux you can either replace Microsoft’s operating system with your distro of choice, or set up a dual boot configuration.

Online retailer Ebuyer, however, offers Linux-minded consumers a third option with its range of HP ProBook notebooks that come with Ubuntu pre-installed. There are three models on offer: HP 255, HP 355, and HP 455.

The HP ProBook 455 G2 notebook, which is the one I’m looking at here, is 345mm(w) x 244mm (d) and 25.3mm(h) in size and weighs 2.15KG. It has a 139.6cm (15.6 inch) matte display offering a maximum resolution of 1368×768 (WXGA) and is powered by a quad core AMD A10-7300 processor running at 1.9GHz, with Radeon R6 Graphics.

The notebook comes with a single stick of 8GB DDR3L memory (there’s a spare RAM slot inside should you wish to boost this to 16GB) and a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive. Getting to these is just a matter of removing a single screw and sliding the back off.

There’s also a built-in DVD writer (I’m always pleased to see one included, even if I have little use for it this days, it can be handy in business situations), 720p webcam, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, one VGA and one HDMI port. There’s also a headset jack, Ethernet port, and Kensington lock hole. At the front there’s an SD-card slot, always a welcome inclusion for me.

HP side 2

Connectivity comes in the form of 802.11b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth 4.0.

There’s a removable 40Wh 4-cell Lithium-Ion battery, which I found lasted for around 8 hours in idle mode and a couple of hours when under load. On average, in a day-to-day situation, you’ll probably get around 3-4 hours of use before needing to plug it in.

Looks wise, the notebook is stylish, if slightly nondescript, with a charcoal gray lid and silver trim. The lid does tend to collect fingerprints after a while, but aside from that, it looks good. There’s a brushed aluminum plate around the comfortable island keyboard.

Getting started takes a while as Ubuntu requires a first run to get everything setup, and then you’ll likely want to update too. If you’re familiar with Ubuntu (and I can’t really imagine anyone who isn’t opting to buy a Laptop with Canonical’s OS pre-installed) you’ll know what to expect.

The version of Ubuntu is 12.04.5 LTS (Precise Pangolin) 64-bit, which is rather old. I would have expected the notebook to be on 14.04 (Trusty Tahr). The Hardware Enablement Stack (HWE) was out of support as well, which meant a lot more updating than I would have liked.

The quick start leaflet that comes with the laptop explains how to use it but, comically, the instructions are for Windows. However there’s a shortcut to a PDF covering Ubuntu to be found on the desktop.HP 455 side

The touchpad is large with two separate buttons below. It’s fine overall, although initially clicking and double-clicking was a bit hit and miss. A spot of tinkering with the settings quickly sorted this out.

The speakers are positioned just under the screen, and provide decent audio, with clear and reasonably loud sound.

Obviously this is a business laptop, rather than one for gamers, so performance is average, rather than exceptional, but for the price — £299.99 including free delivery — you’re not going to be disappointed. In fact if you buy today (31 July), there’s a £100 trade in offer which makes it even more of a bargain.

Although it requires a bit of setting up — you can of course use it without updating if you want to just crack on — it’s a decent, low cost offering that’s definitely worth a look.

Article source: http://betanews.com/2015/07/31/hp-probook-455-g2-a-low-cost-business-notebook-for-ubuntu-lovers-review/

Ubuntu 15.10 Alpha 2 Releases Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

Canonical, through Martin Wimpress, announced on July 30 that the second and last Alpha builds of the Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, and Ubuntu Cloud 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) operating systems were available for download and testing.

While Ubuntu and many other flavors, including Edubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Xubuntu, and Ubuntu GNOME, do not participate in the Alpha 2 release, the aforementioned Ubuntu Linux editions come with attractive new features, such as Linux kernel 4.1.

“The second alpha of the Wily Werewolf (to become 15.10) has now been released! This alpha features images for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Kylin and the Ubuntu Cloud images,” says Martin Wimpress. “Alpha 2 includes a number of software updates that are ready for wider testing.”

We have already written in-depth articles about the new features included in the Kubuntu 15.10 Alpha 2, Lubuntu 15.10 Alpha 2, Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 Alpha 2, and Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Alpha 2 distributions, so we recommend reading them if you want to know exactly what was changed since the first Alpha build.

Highlights of Ubuntu 15.10 Alpha 2

If you don’t have time to read the articles linked above, we can tell you that Kubuntu 15.10 Alpha 2 comes with KDE Plasma 5.3, KDE Applications 15.04.1, KDE Frameworks 5, LibreOffice 4.4, and Firefox 38, Lubuntu 15.10 Alpha 2 is still built around the LXDE desktop environment, and Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Alpha comes without Ubuntu Software Center.

Moreover, the Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 Alpha 2 operating system includes several updated components, such as Ubuntu Kylin Theme 1.4.0, Ubuntu Kylin Default Settings 1.3.9, Ubuntu Kylin Software Center 1.3.5, Youker Assistant 2.0.3, and China Weather Indicator 2.1.3.

The development cycle of the Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) operating system will continue with a first Beta build for opt-in flavors on August 27, the Final Beta build, which will also include Ubuntu itself, on September 24, and will conclude with the final release of Ubuntu 15.10 on October 22, 2015.

Article source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/ubuntu-15-10-alpha-2-releases-now-available-for-download-here-s-what-s-new-488160.shtml

Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 Alpha 2 Is Out for Testing with Linux Kernel 4.1, More

The development team behind the Ubuntu Kylin computer operating system have announced earlier today the immediate availability for download and testing of the second Alpha build of the upcoming Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) distro.

Powered by Linux kernel 4.1, Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 Alpha 2 bring with it a vast array of new features, such as Ubuntu Kylin Theme 1.4.0, which includes an updated unity-greeter logo and Plymouth text for Ubuntu Kylin 15.10, and Ubuntu Kylin Default Settings 1.3.9, which includes an updated logo on the Details overview for Ubuntu Kylin 15.10.

Additionally, the Ubuntu Kylin Software Center app has been updated to version 1.3.5, a release that includes blurbs optimizations to repair issues with dislocating windows after opening ads, progress bar’s state optimization to fix bugs in the network download and install function, list optimizations for adding the mouse hover effect, and the addition of a progress bar for the installation, uninstallation, and upgrade of software.

“We are glad to announce the Release of Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 (codename Wily Werewolf) Alpha 2. In this pre-release, we have fixed many internationalization and localization bugs in Ubuntu itself and bugs in software written by the Ubuntu Kylin team. All the work that Ubuntu Kylin team do is within the Ubuntu community and ecosystem and as such they are flowed back to Ubuntu itself naturally and everyone using Ubuntu can benefit the result of our work,” reads the announcement.

Youker Assistant and China Weather Indicator received improvements

In addition to the changes mentioned above, Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 Alpha 2 updates the Youker Assistant software to version 2.0.3, a release that includes features like upgrade functionality, custom skin filter, revamped camera module, skin center, info module, setting module, and menu, adjusted layout interface, support for hardware manufacturer’s logo, Gio.Settings notify support, and much more.

Last but not least, the China Weather Indicator for the Unity Panel has been updated to version 2.1.3, a release that repairs the real-time humidity and temperature support, optimizes the forecast interface, modifies the database, and rewrites the user interface with CSS. Download Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) Alpha 2 right now from Softpedia. Please try to keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, not suitable for production use.

Article source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/ubuntu-kylin-15-10-alpha-2-is-out-for-testing-with-linux-kernel-4-1-more-488157.shtml

Pro tip: Upgrade Ubuntu to the 4.x kernel


Recently, I’d noticed some shenanigans going on with my installation of Elementary OS Freya. Bluetooth had become erratic and certain apps had started to bog down. To some, Bluetooth might not be such a deal breaker, but I rely on both a Bluetooth mouse and Bluetooth trackpad for my desktop, so this was starting to become a problem.

It turns out that the issues were stemming from the 3.16 kernel. Considering that the Linux 4.0 kernel has a completely new method of handling the likes of touchpads, I thought it might be a good idea to undertake the upgrade.

Now, if you remember, I had similar dealings with this when I upgraded my desktop from Ubuntu 14.10 to 15.04 (see my post “Tweak your touchpad to taste in Linux“), but since stepping away from Ubuntu, I assumed the issues that caused me to need to tweak the touchpad in the first place were gone.

Hello, old friend.

So, in order to get around the problems, I found myself having to upgrade the Elementary OS Freya kernel to the 4.x release. I’d been wanting to do this for a while anyway, in order to take advantage of some of the improvements and newer features found in the 4.x kernel. One of the biggest improvements is the ability to enable kernel upgrading that doesn’t require rebooting. This is a serious boon for server admins, but it does require a bit more work than most desktop users are willing to go through.

The kernel in my sites is 4.0.5, and it includes improvements for:

  • ARM, x86, MIPS, PowerPC, s390, ARM64, and PA-RISC hardware
  • Btrfs, EXT4, XFS, OverlayFS, jbd2, Optimized MPEG Filesystem (OMFS), and NFS file systems
  • Updated drivers (especially for ACPI, ATA, CLK, General-purpose input/output, GPU
  • Improved input/output memory management
  • Minor networking and sound fixes

With that said, let’s upgrade.

Word of warning

It should go without saying, upgrading a kernel isn’t like upgrading a user-space application. Things can go wrong. However, for the most part, this isn’t like the old days where you were compiling a kernel and hoping for the best. The process has smoothed out quite a lot.

Even so, when you upgrade to a kernel that isn’t found in Ubuntu’s standard repositories (or a Ubuntu-derivative, such as Elementary OS Freya), be aware that the new kernel will need to be manually updated from that point on. In other words, you won’t be seeing 4.x kernel updates in the built-in Software Updater application.

With that said, let’s upgrade.


Believe it or not, the process is incredibly simple. Here are the steps:

Download the necessary packages with the following commands (run from a terminal window):

For 32-bit systems

For 64-bit systems

Change into the directory you downloaded the files into and issue the following command to upgrade:

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-4.0.5*.deb linux-image-4.0.5*.deb

Finally, issue the command sudo update-grub to update the grub bootloader.

Once everything has completed, reboot the machine, and you’re good to go. When the system reboots, open up a terminal window and issue the command uname -r to ensure you are in fact running the 4.0.5 kernel.

Once you’ve undertaken this upgrade, make sure to check for upgrades. In fact, immediately after upgrading to 4.0.5, I jumped right to 4.0.8 (download the necessary files for 4.0.8).

Upgrading the Linux kernel is something just about any user can do. If you’re wanting to get some of the improvements of the latest, greatest 4.x kernel, and you’re running a distribution that is holding tight to the 3.x release, give these instructions a try and see if your Linux machine doesn’t enjoy a bit more 4.x freedom.

Also see

Article source: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/pro-tip-upgrade-ubuntu-to-the-4-x-kernel/

Minds + Machines To Register Up To 30K New gTLD Premium Domains Under Emerald …

Minds + Machines announced they are going through the process of registering up to 30,000 Premium Names from across its wholly-owned portfolio of TLDs through its wholly-owned entity, Emerald Names, “so as to raise the visibility of its inventory amongst the broker and registrar channel, as well as with consumers”.

“As a result, these Premium Names will resolve to a “for sale” web site, whereas previously they returned a “not found” error when typed into a browser.

These Premium Names will also be listed for sale on the web sites of aftermarket brokers, and included in their electronic feeds of names for sale, which are carried by most major registrars, thereby providing greater exposure and more sales opportunities.

Brokers and registrars can be an important referral channel for both Premium and Super Premium names, as evidenced by the recent high-value sale of net.work. The costs to the Company of registering a name through Emerald are minimal and the Board looks forward to analysing the results of this initiative during the remainder of the current financial year”.

The company also announced that they have “Premium Name sales teams are now operational in the UK and US”.

So it looks like Minds + Machines is going down the Frank Schilling route to who set up North Sound Names and has over 207,000 domain names registered.

In other news Minds + Machines announce On October 2nd 2015, .Miami will enter General Availability.

On 12 October 2015, both .law and .abogado will both go into General Availability (“GA”). For the first time, the Company will run an early Access Program (“EAP”) in .law and in .abogado.”

Article source: http://www.thedomains.com/2015/07/30/minds-machines-to-register-up-to-30k-new-gtld-premium-domains-under-emerald-names/

It’s dirt-cheap, but this HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu budget laptop may not be…

One way to get a dirt-cheap laptop is to buy one not with Windows but Ubuntu preinstalled. That’s the case with the £300 HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu edition, but would you be better looking elsewhere? We find out in our HP ProBook budget laptop review. Also see: Best budget laptops 2015.

Microsoft’s strategy to stem PC competition from Google gave us Windows 8.1 with Bing, a free operating system available to laptop manufacturers. That’s shown us useful savings in the final retail price, but there’s another way to evade the Windows tax – find a laptop with Linux pre-installed.

The ProBook 455 G2 is one of three HP laptops sold by eBuyer running Ubuntu Linux instead of Windows, leading to a price of £300 for even the highest spec model here with 1.9 GHz quad-core AMD processor, 1 TB hard disk and 8 GB of memory.

HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu review

HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu review: Build and design

From the budget end of HP’s business range, the HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu is a simple 15in laptop sporting the kind of components you find on a sub-£500 machine, such as low-grade TN display, plastic casework buffed up with gunmetal paint and simple connectivity. See all budget laptop reviews.

A slot-load DVD+/-RW drive pops out the right side beyond two USB 2.0 ports. The HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu’s left side trumps these with a pair of high-speed USB 3.0, alongside HDMI, VGA and gigabit ethernet ports.

Like most business laptops there’s decent access from the underside to essential upgrade areas: two doors, one to access hard disk and memory, the other for Wi-Fi card. A small 31 Wh battery can also be detached easily.

Screen quality is the usual weak spot, a 100 ppi 15.6in TN panel with contrast and colour issue that leave the image looking simulatenously dull and washed out.

Real buttons below the HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu’s multi-touch trackpad have smooth operation while pointer precision is only average for the budget price. Typists may feel at home with its serviceable keyboard and numberpad.

HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu review

HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu review: Software

The real story here is Ubuntu preinstalled instead of the prevailing Windows, a certified option from HP which should be free of incompatibilities between hard- and software. Also see: 20 best laptops 2015.

Ubuntu is often seen as the third way after OS X and Windows, an operating sytem that in interface terms should be simple enough to get around. Finding the applications you need may be challenging though. Office programs like Word and Excel can be substituted by Libre or OpenOffice, and web browsing and email are easy with familiar cross-platform utilities like Firefox and Thunderbird. Games and entertainment come up short; look around and you will find titles like Civilization and Half Life for Linux.

The OS has some issues here, with switchable graphics and TPM security module not supported. The Ubuntu version installed is dated, an odd long-term support (LTS) choice from 2012, despite this laptop’s build after the release of up-to-date 14.04 LTS. You can upgrade yourself, or even install Windows on the HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu if desired.

HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu review

HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu review: Performance

We couldn’t benchmark the HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu with the usual Windows programs, but the 28 nm AMD chip is roughly comparable to a four-year old Intel Core i5. Our usual battery benchmark also proved problematic as the Wi-Fi performance was so terrible, causing constant crashes. One driver update later, the laptop could run with wireless but slowly, less than 10 Mb/s, stuttering the video playback.

AMD-powered laptops don’t fare well in power efficiency, but the HP ProBook 455 G2 Ubuntu proved even shorter lived than usual. Streaming over Wi-Fi our usual test video played for just 1 hr 24 min. Repeated without wireless, it lasted 3 hr 13 min.

Article source: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/review/budget-laptops/hp-probook-455-g2-ubuntu-budget-laptop-review-3621436/

Review: Ubuntu 15.04

I f it’s spring, that must mean a new release of Ubuntu. This latest one is codenamed the “Vivid Vervet”, but – as has become common for Ubuntu releases – you’ll have to squint to spot the difference between this and last autumn’s “Utopic Unicorn”. 

In fact, Ubuntu 15.04 raises the bar when it comes to inconspicuous updates. From a user perspective, the only noticeable change is to application menus, which now appear in their respective windows rather than at the top of the screen. Such behaviour has been optional since 14.04 – and indeed was the default in Ubuntu 10.10 and before – so as user-experience updates go, this isn’t exactly a brave new world.

There are bigger changes to be found beneath the surface of Ubuntu 15.04. Internally, Canonical’s Upstart system (which launches jobs and services) has been replaced by systemd, following the latter’s acceptance into Debian, on which Ubuntu is based. Desktop users shouldn’t notice any difference, but administrators will need to get to grips with systemd’s more complex way of doing things – you’ll find a guide to switching here.

The Linux kernel has been updated to version 3.19.3, bringing improved support for IPv6 and various hardware driver updates. Unfortunately, kernel 4 arrived too late in the Ubuntu development cycle to make it into this release – a shame, since in addition to even newer drivers, it adds the ability to patch the kernel without rebooting the system. 

And that, in the standard distribution, is pretty much it for updates. Of course, Ubuntu still has its numerous variant “flavours” such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu and so forth – as well as the newly approved Ubuntu MATE distribution, based on the friendly MATE desktop – which may bring their own interface tweaks. Inescapably, though, the base Ubuntu 15.04 release feels like a non-event. 

That isn’t necessarily a criticism of the platform as a whole. Ubuntu is as capable and accessible as it ever was, and free. But it’s hard not to feel a touch of dismay at the apparent lack of progress on show, especially in light of all the ambitious talk that’s been coming out of Canonical in the past few years. Originally, Ubuntu was supposed to be using the brand-new touch-friendly Unity 8 desktop by now, running on Canonical’s homegrown Mir display server. But long delays have left both upgrades years behind schedule; the new front-end isn’t now expected to be properly ready for a stable desktop until 2016 (if you want to try it out before then, use the daily “Desktop Next” preview image from here).

Then there’s the much-touted idea of convergence, which integrates the desktop OS with the smartphone-orientated distribution. When first floated in 2012, this sounded like an idea that could have propelled Ubuntu into the mainstream, and it was supported by big plans for tablets and smart TVs. Again, though, the reality has been less rosy: in 2013, the Ubuntu Edge smartphone that would have been Ubuntu’s first flagship fell well short of its crowdfunding target and was axed. Two years on, there’s just one consumer Ubuntu smartphone available, while tablets and TVs haven’t even got that far.

How much this matters is an open question. Ubuntu isn’t driven by profit, so it doesn’t need to chase market share, or indeed relevance. However, as big plans have faltered, and innovation on the desktop OS appears to have ground to a halt, the scent of stagnation has started to hang around the platform. 

Perhaps that’s a sign that it’s time for Canonical to take the opposite tack to Microsoft and move to less frequent releases, or at least less arbitrarily timetabled ones. Ubuntu is stable enough now not to need constant updating, and in this case waiting on the Linux 4 kernel would have made for a much more compelling release. Canonical’s engineers, meanwhile, could benefit from spending more time working on long-promised upgrades, and less time patching and polishing half-baked versions of things for a biannual release.
If you’re looking for a free, friendly and powerful OS for desktops and servers, Ubuntu is still an easy Linux distribution to recommend. But even for established Ubuntu users this update is neither practically nor emotionally compelling. If Canonical seriously wants Ubuntu to make more of a mainstream impact, Ubuntu 15.04 – a barely necessary update rolled out to serve a timetable rather than a strategy – is precisely the sort of thing it needs to stop releasing. 

Article source: http://www.pcauthority.com.au/Review/407233,review-ubuntu-1504.aspx

New gTLD .Tech Enters Early Access Period (EAP) Today With 40+ Pioneers

Radix announced today that .Tech has entered the 1st day of the Early Access Program (EAP)

Unlike other Radix new gTLD extensions that previously launched .Tech is not going to have a landrush period but an EAP period like Donuts and Rightside.

Radix further announced that it has signed up 40+ Pioneers for .tech.

“The Pioneer list includes impressive names like Carl Pei, co-founder of the much talked about OnePlus smartphone, Web Summit – Dublin based 3 day conference that attracts 22,000+ delegates amongst others.

.TECH has also signed on Tech Influencers like Linus Sebastian, Jonathan Morrison, Austin Evans featured in the Top 30 Power Players in Tech list by Inc.com have a huge following on Social Media.

Several companies like yourstory.com, Horus Technology have also signed on the .tech Pioneer Program.

.Tech has been actively engaging with tech start ups entrepreneurs via advertising, direct marketing campaigns and events like SXSW, Collision Conference, and has a calendar full with events like Rise in HongKong, TechCrunch’s Disrupt WebSummit.

Radix outbid applicants like Google, Donuts, Uniregistry and Top Level Domain Holdings to acquire .tech for $6.76 million.””

Article source: http://www.thedomains.com/2015/07/29/new-gtld-tech-enters-early-access-period-eap-today-with-40-pioneers/

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition Review – A Diamond in the Rough

The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition is the latest phone to ship with the operating system built by Canonical, and it’s also the most powerful available right now. We’ll take a closer look at it, and we’ll try to determine whether it’s good enough to stand on its own.

This is a dual review, one of the phone itself and one of the operating system. The two of them are linked, and it wouldn’t be fair to talk about one without mentioning the other. It would also be unfair towards Ubuntu if we compared it with other mobile OSes, like Android or iOS, which have been around for a long time, but we’ll get to that later.

We can’t say that Ubuntu is the first Linux OS to land in the mobile world, since the Linux kernel has been used before, but Ubuntu Touch (or Ubuntu for phones) is the first true Linux distro on phones. In fact, Canonical is working very hard to make a single operating system that will work on any platform, including mobile devices, which is a first in the industry.

When Canonical first announced that Meizu is one of the first companies to release a phone with Ubuntu, everybody searched on Google about them. They might be a big player in the Chinese market, but their presence in Europe, for example, is virtually unknown. What we do know about them is that their phones ship with Android and they have a really good build quality and solid specs. A company that is trying to break into such a competitive market is exactly what Canonical needed.

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition task manager

So, after months of teasing, we finally get our hands on a Meizu MX4 phone powered by Ubuntu. The main difference between us and regular users that would just buy this because it’s shiny is that we’ve been using Ubuntu Touch for a while now, and we know what we’re getting into, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll first take a look at the phone itself.

Build quality

This is a relatively new phone, but it’s not the latest. It was released back in September 2014, so it’s been around for some time now. It was the high-end phone for Meizu for a few months, so you know that they’ve tried to provide the best quality build possible that was still affordable. Even with a plastic back, it doesn’t look cheap and feels really good to hold in the hand. It’s a little slippery, and the grip is not perfect because of the glossy back. The best way to put it is to say that it’s not a phone for clumsy users who tend to drop things.

Hardware and display

The phone uses a MediaTek 6595 solution that has been customized by Meizu. It’s an eight-core CPU, but it’s a little bit different from what you might expect. The chip from MediaTek is actually made of two CPUs, A17 2.2GHz, and A7 1.7GHz. Both have four cores, and all eight can be turned on if needed. The idea is to improve the battery life and not have everything work at once. It’s not clear how this chip from MediaTek is working on Ubuntu, yet it probably has the same functionality on this OS as it does on Android.

Meizu MX4 also comes with 2GB of RAM, and all the sensors you might ever need, like an ambient sensor, gravity sensor, Hall Effect sensor, infrared proximity sensor, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, touch sensitive, and digital compass. There is no SD card slot.

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition lock screen

This brings us to the display. We could just say that it has a display of 5.36 inches (from Sharp), and it supports a resolution of 1920 x 1152, but it would be unfair. The display is one of the first things you will notice when you open the Meizu MX4, and it’s incredibly bright and warm. The colors are vivid, and it works really well in bright sunlight. The contrast is really good, and it shows.

The camera

The reason why the camera has its own category is because it’s really, really good. Many of the high-end phones today can brag with a good camera. Some are better than others, but not all of them are great. In fact, there are many great phones out there that ship with a lousy camera, and it’s always a mystery why that happens. MX4 comes with a 20.7 MP camera using the SONY IMX220 Exmor RS sensor, and the lens is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The frontal camera could have been better, and it’s only a 2MP version, powered by the SONY IMX208 sensor.

The battery

Meizu MX4 comes with a 3100 mAh battery that cannot be removed. The back cover of the phone is removable, but only to insert the sim card. This brings us to performance. If you had asked me a week ago what the battery life for the phone was, I would have answered that it was terrible. Things have changed dramatically after the latest Ubuntu Touch update, and you can expect it to work for two days of regular use, which is a great improvement.

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition back cover

Ubuntu Touch

The Meizu MX4 specifications and performance are not a secret, but everyone wants to know how this phone works with Ubuntu Touch. And, it’s quite possible that some of you might wonder what Ubuntu Touch is, so I’ll try and answer both questions.

Ubuntu for phones (sometimes referred to as Ubuntu Touch) is a new operating system from Canonical for mobile devices, including tablets. It’s been in the works for almost three years, and it’s been released in a stable form for a few months. As it stands right now, there are three phones with Ubuntu in the wild: Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, BQ Aquaris e4.5, and BQ Aquaris E5 HD. As you can see, it’s not an extensive lineup, but Canonical is not looking for big numbers or sales, at least not now.

Ubuntu is an operating system based on the Linux kernel that uses a desktop environment named Unity 8. It has a launcher, just like the desktop version and apps, just like everyone. The difference is that there is no home screen, not really. Other OSes, like Android or iOS, have multiple screens available to uses when you have too many apps to fit into a single one. On Ubuntu, each screen is called a scope, and it’s actually an online content aggregator.

The first one is Apps, by default, but that can be changed. If you swipe to the right, you’ll find scopes Video (from online sources like YouTube), Audio, Photos, News, and so on. There is even a nearby scope that tells things of interest depending on your location.

Which brings us to swipe. As you might have noticed, the number of phones with physical keyboards is getting smaller in time. We do most of the work on phones with the touch screen. Ubuntu is a phone designed to work on phones that have no buttons at all, let alone keyboards. Everything is done with swipes.

You swipe from the left you get a handy app launcher, you swipe from the right, you change between the opened apps. If you make the right swipe a little longer, you have access to a task manager that shows all the running apps in memory. Swiping from the top edge opens up the indicators (battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and so on), and the bottom swipe is used differently by apps.

Meizu MX4 also has a home button on the front that brings users back to the first scope when pressed and it provides LED notifications. It’s also worth pointing out that Meizu MX4 comes with very thin bezels, which work great with an OS emphasizing swipe gestures.

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition apps

Apps and general experience

The number of available apps for a new OS is very important, and Ubuntu devs know things very well. They already have some native apps in place, but others – like Facebook, GMAIL, or Twitter – are web apps. Their goal is to have these native at a certain point, but it will take a while for that to happen.

As it stands right now, users will have to adjust to the fact that the apps base is not big, and it doesn’t incorporate some of the big names, like Whatsapp, just to name one. On the other hand, it’s still an OS aimed at enthusiasts and at people who know what they are buying.

If you’ll ever get your hands on a Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, you will notice that it’s still slow, it staggers from time to time, and it’s not the fastest, but it also doesn’t matter all that much. It’s still a young OS with plenty of time to get better. Android provided an awful experience for its users for many years, and it still has its quirks. It would be naive to expect Ubuntu to run perfectly only a few months after its initial release.

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition Internet browser

Article source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/meizu-mx4-ubuntu-edition-review-a-diamond-in-the-rough-487850.shtml

Ubuntu Touch Finally Gets a Regression Fix for Nexus 4 and Aquaris Phones

Canonical has recently released a new OTA update for Ubuntu Touch and it brought a large number of new features and improvements, but also a nasty regression that caused the telephony function to fail on BQ phones and Nexus 4. That fix has finally landed.

The Ubuntu Touch OS has received quite a few OTA updates until now, five to be more exact, and most of them have provided a better experience for users. Some regressions are inevitable, and the same happened with the latest update.

Ubuntu developers quickly figured out that something was wrong and started to work on a fix. That patch was released today now users of the BQ Aquaris phones and Nexus 4 users can connect to their careers once more.

“A quick mail today. We finally released the bq-aquaris.en mako image with the telephony fix from yesterday. It took a bit longer than anticipated, but mako users should now be able to use their phones normally,” wrote Łukasz ‘sil2100′ Zemczak on the official mailing list.

As usual, Ubuntu Touch users don’t need to do anything extra. The patch will arrive through the regular update channels, and they will need to reboot their phones in order to complete the installation.

Article source: http://linux.softpedia.com/blog/ubuntu-touch-finally-gets-a-regression-fix-for-nexus-4-and-aquaris-phones-488081.shtml

Bitcoin Weekly 2015 July 29: Mike Tyson, OneBit goes alpha, HP and Bitcoin, investments and blockchain to soar in 2015

Article source: https://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&tid=9699a5ea46de4310af2a0f9b4a177b37&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsiliconangle.com%2Fblog%2F2015%2F07%2F29%2Fbitcoin-weekly-2015-july-29-mike-tyson-onebit-goes-alpha-hp-and-bitcoin-investments-and-blockchain-to-soar-in-2015%2F&c=DQyqwWGgb-cwvyNxZD9AlouXhAd1nHCKMq4yH15ZcaI&mkt=sv-se

KDE unveils Plasma Mobile, a free and open Linux OS for phones

Move over, Ubuntu Touch and Android. There’s new competition in town. The KDE community just unveiled Plasma Mobile, a free and open-source mobile operating system.

This is nothing new for the KDE project. Before Ubuntu Touch was ever announced, the KDE community had a long-term vision of convergence. Plasma 5 on the desktop has a “converged shell” that can switch between different interfaces for different device types. KDE even attempted to release tablets with their Plasma software preinstalled, but this never worked out.

What is Plasma Mobile?

Unveiled at KDE’s annual Akademy world summit, the KDE project pitches Plasma Mobile is unique—different from both the dominant mobile operating systems and even different from Ubuntu for phones.

Plasma Mobile is entirely free and open-source software, and the announcement argues the benefits of that. It can be distributed, modified, and re-used with no restrictions. It’s developed with an open development process anyone can get involved in. It’s privacy-focused, and you can choose “services from trusted sources” instead of relying on the ones the operating system developer chooses for you.

Customization and personalization is also a big headline feature, which is no surprise. KDE has always been much more customizable than other popular Linux desktops.

An inclusive platform that supports many apps

Unlike Ubuntu for phones, Plasma Mobile is trying to support as many different types of apps as possible. It “is designed as an inclusive system, intended to support all kinds of apps.” Native apps can be written in QT, KDE’s toolkit of choice. But Plasma Mobile will also support GTK apps, Ubuntu Touch apps, Sailfish OS apps, and even Android apps.

It probably isn’t a coincidence that Shaashlik, a framework for running Android applications on “real” Linux systems, was just shown off at Akademy 2015. This tool could also bring Android apps to desktop Linux, too.

Ubuntu phones are facing some tough reviews due to a lack of native apps, with many reviews saying scopes and web apps just can’t replace the native apps found on other platforms. Supporting a wider variety of apps—especially Android apps—could make Plasma Mobile more compelling in the long run. After all, even Microsoft will support Android apps with Windows 10. Android app compatibility didn’t save BlackBerry, though.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2953812/operating-systems/kde-unveils-plasma-mobile-a-free-and-open-linux-os-for-phones.html

Canonical Says Ubuntu-Based Docker Images Are Not a Copyright Violation

Canonical said through the voice of Dustin Kirkland that you can use Ubuntu with Docker without violating any copyright policy, contradicting what Matthew Garrett said in a blog post just a week ago.

Canonical recently changed its IP policy to comply fully with GPL3, putting an end to some discussion that has been going on for years in the Ubuntu community. The new provisions ensure that the license for a package in Ubuntu doesn’t supersede the license of the original project. This is a big step forward, but Matthew Garrett raised another issue regarding the use of Ubuntu in Docker containers and the redistribution of binaries.

Matthew Garrett said that if you distributed an Ubuntu container image that had been modified, you would need to ask Canonical for permission to do so. The alternative is to rebuild all the packages, remove all mentions of Ubuntu, and recompile everything. As our readers have pointed out, this is an issue related to trademarks and not copyright, but it could still be an issue. This is why Dustin felt the need to intervene, in a more official capacity.

Redistributed Ubuntu Docker images are OK, most of the time

Dustin Kirkland is a member of the Ubuntu Product and Strategy at Canonical, and he prefaced his comments by saying that he talks in the name of the company, at least on this issue.

“I am speaking for my employer, Canonical, when I say you are not violating our policies if you use Ubuntu with Docker in sensible, secure ways. Some have claimed otherwise, but that’s simply sensationalist and untrue. Canonical publishes Ubuntu images for Docker specifically so that they will be useful to people. You are encouraged to use them! We see no conflict between our policies and the common sense use of Docker,” wrote Dustin on his blog.

Some of the users with a keen eye will notice a couple of rather vague terms, like “sensible, secure ways” and “common sense.” What he’s saying is that Canonical is distinguishing between personal use and third-party redistribution. The end goal for Canonical is to protect the name of Ubuntu and its reputation.

If, for example, an entity distributes a modified version of Ubuntu, which creates problems for people or companies, Canonical will be the first one to blame, even if they didn’t make the changes that caused the issues. This is why users and third-party distributors are encouraged to talk to Canonical about Ubuntu redistribution so that the company knows what you are doing with it.

Dustin also provides an apt comparison that necessitates the use of booze. Enjoy!

  • Head over to your local purveyor of fine wines and liquors.
  • Pick up a nice bottle of Champagne, Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, or my favorite — a rare bottle of Lambic Oude Gueze.
  • Carefully check the label, looking for a seal of Appellation d’origine contrôlée.
  • In doing so, that bottle should earn your confidence that it was produced according to strict quality, format, and geographic standards.
  • Before you pop the cork, check the seal, to ensure it hasn’t been opened or tampered with.  Now, drink it however you like.
  • Pour that Champagne over orange juice (if you must).  Toss a couple ice cubes in your Scotch (if that’s really how you like it).  Pour that Bourbon over a Coke (if that’s what you want).
  • Enjoy however you like — straight up or mixed to taste — with your own guests in the privacy of your home.  Just please don’t pour those concoctions back into the bottle, shove a cork in, put them back on the shelf at your local liquor store and try to pass them off as Champagne/Scotch/Bourbon.

Article source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/canonical-says-ubuntu-based-docker-images-is-not-a-copyright-violation-488038.shtml

It’s Easy to Port Mobile HTML5 Games to Ubuntu Phone, Says the Community Manager

On July 28, Alan Pope, the Community Manager of Ubuntu Engineering at Canonical, published a comprehensive tutorial showing users how easy is to port online games written in the HTML5 language to the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system that powers several known Ubuntu phone devices.

According to Alan Pope, who loves to play games on his Ubuntu phone, it would appear that it is rather easy to port web-based HTML5 games, such as those from Code Canyon, to the Ubuntu Touch platform, using a few text files and the folder that contains the game’s code written in HTML5, of course.

“I really like playing games on my phone tablet and wanted some more games to play on Ubuntu. With a little work it turns out it’s really pretty easy to ‘port’ games over to Ubuntu phone,” says Alan Pope. “I put the word ‘port’ in quotes simply because in some cases it’s not a tremendous amount of effort, so calling it a ‘port’ might make people think it’s more work than it is.”

Those of you who want to contribute to the evolution of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system can read Alan Pope’s comprehensive tutorial and learn how to port, package, and publish those awesome HTML5 games to the Ubuntu Store for Ubuntu phones. Have fun!

Article source: http://linux.softpedia.com/blog/it-s-easy-to-port-mobile-html5-games-to-ubuntu-phone-says-the-community-manager-488009.shtml

Canonical Patches Two BIND Vulnerabilities in All Supported Ubuntu OSes …

On July 28, Canonical, through Marc Deslauriers, published details about the availability of a new important update for the BIND packages in the Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

The Ubuntu Security Notice USN-2693-1 document describes two security vulnerabilities discovered by various developers in the upstream BIND software, the world’s most popular open-source Domain Name System (DNS) software on the Internet. The latest version of the BIND software can always be downloaded from our website.

“A security issue affects these releases of Ubuntu and its derivatives: Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS,” says Marc Deslauriers. “Bind could be made to crash if it received specially crafted network traffic. The problem can be corrected by updating your system to the following package versions.”

The first security flaw has been discovered by Jonathan Foote in the handling of various TKEY (transaction key) queries, as BIND incorrectly handled them, allowing a remote attacker to crash BIND or cause a denial of service by using a specially crafted packet. The vulnerability is described in detail at CVE-2015-5477.

The second security flaw was discovered by Pories Ediansyah in the handling of configurations involving DNS64, as BIND incorrectly handled them, allowing a remote attacker to crash BIND or cause a denial of service by using a specially crafted query. The vulnerability is described in detail at CVE-2012-5689 and affects only Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Please update your BIND packages as soon as possible

All users of the Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) are urged by Canonical to update their BIND packages to version 9.9.5.dfsg-9ubuntu0.2 for Ubuntu 15.04, version 9.9.5.dfsg-3ubuntu0.4 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and version 9.8.1.dfsg.P1-4ubuntu0.12 for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Article source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/canonical-patches-two-bind-vulnerabilities-in-all-supported-ubuntu-oses-update-now-488012.shtml