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Tag: OPEN SOURCE

Google demands veto on OEM Android changes, stretches definition of 'open source'

Google, according to reports from "a dozen executives working at key companies in the Android ecosystem" is finally locking down the open source and easily-fragmented Android operating system. As it currently stands, Google hands over the 'final' code for each version of Android, and OEMs and developers then spend some time customizing the OS to fit their hardware, and to create a unique an...

Google holds back on open-sourcing Honeycomb, heralds massive shift for Android

Google, in an interesting but not entirely unexpected twist, will not be open-sourcing Android 3.0 Honeycomb for the foreseeable future. Historically, Android is usually open-sourced via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) a few days or weeks after the code is finalized. While this departure from the norm won't affect OEMs like HTC and Motorola that have access to internal builds of Andro...

Banshee media player for Windows goes alpha

Banshee has been one of the top Linux media players for ages, and now the venerable audio and video app has officially made its way to Windows. The first alpha release of Banshee for Windows is now available for download, and it's exactly what you would expect: it's very true to the Linux experience, and it's got a few kinks which still need working out before it's ready for prime time on Windo...

NeverNote is a full-featured Evernote app for Linux, Mac, and Windows

Windows and Mac users have a first-party Evernote app, but Linux users have been limited to running Evernote in WINE or using the Web interface. NeverNote, however, offers a full-featured desktop app which runs natively on 32- and 64-bit Linux distros. In addition to covering the basics, NeverNote offers a number of features you won't find in Evernote's desktop app. Multiple databases are supp...

TorChat, anonymous and secure messaging and file transfers

Using the Tor network of virtual tunnels, TorChat is a small, portable and open-source IM client that allows for completely anonymous and secure communications and file sharing. It works on both Windows and Linux. If you're on Windows, all you have to do is download, unzip, and run torchat.exe. It will automatically connect to the Tor network -- which will take a few minutes -- but then it oper...

Sumatra PDF, the open-source Adobe Reader replacement, improves performance, printing

Sumatra -- the lightweight, open source alternative to Adobe Reader -- has just updated to version 1.3 and lead developer Krzysztof Kowalczyk has delivered some welcome improvements. Sumatra now uses libjpeg-turbo for faster rendering of some PDFs and its printing support has been improved. Documents can also be zoomed and rotated using your keyboard via the + and * keys, respectively. Sumatra...

Debian 6 Squeeze, the universal operating system, finally released

After exactly two years of development and with over 10,000 new packages, version 6 of the wunderkind jack of all trades, Debian, has been released. This release, along with support for i386, amd64, powerpc, sparc, mips, mipsel, ia64, s390 and armel architectures, also features a technical preview of Debian ported to the FreeBSD kernel, dubbed Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Along with the usual slew of u...

LibreOffice 3.3, the open source office suite, now available

LibreOffice -- the Document Foundation's fork of OpenOffice -- has come a long way since the project was first announced in September 2010. Today, the Foundation has announced that its first stable release, LibreOffice 3.3, is ready to download. Among the many changes you'll find in version 3.3 are the arrival of new import filters and improvements to existing ones -- key features when you're ...

Touchégg assigns actions to multitouch gestures on your Linux system

Canonical demonstrated Ubuntu 10.10's multitouch functionality a few months back. If you haven't felt compelled to play with it before, a new app called Touchégg might provide a little extra incentive. It's an open source project which lets you define custom actions and execute them with a touch gesture. Canonical's uTouch gesture library is required, but it should already be installed if y...

With Ubuntu's shift to Qt in 11.10, an attack on the mobile sector must be imminent

Qt, come the end of 2011, is to become a standard component of Ubuntu 11.10. Ubuntu currently, and in the upcoming 11.04 Natty Narwhal distribution, uses Gtk+, a competing toolkit maintained by the GNOME Foundation. When Canonical announced Ubuntu's shift away from the GNOME desktop manager in 11.04, the switch to Qt was almost a foregone conclusion; GNOME requires Gtk+, but Unity doesn't -- s...

Google defends its dropping of H.264, announces WebM plug-ins for IE and Safari

After Google's announcement last week that it would be dropping H.264 HTML5 video support, the tech world exploded. As the dust settled -- as the fragments of brainless bile drifted slowly back to the tech blog morass -- it became clear that there were two evenly-split sides. Half of the tech world, spearheaded by TechCrunch's slavering Siegler, felt that Google had figuratively defecated on its o...

Trend Micro thinks Android's open source makes it less secure than iOS; wrong!

In an odd move that must surely raise concerns of lucidity, the Trend Micro chairman, Steve Chang, has claimed that the open-source nature of Android makes it easier to hack than iOS: "Android is open-source, which means the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code." News just in: the open-source-is-less-secure myth was dispelled more than a decade ago. Take a loo...

ADW.Launcher for Android hands on: attractive and highly customizable, but bloated

Sitting like rough and tawdry monarchs atop of the Android home screen and app launcher pile are LauncherPro and ADW.Launcher. We've reviewed Zeam Launcher, and looked at Go Launcher and QuickDesk, but somehow the two big boys have always escaped our critical eye. Well, no more! Today we're going to look at ADW.Launcher. It's a free download, but there's an 'EX' version that will cost you about...

Google Chrome drops H.264 support to focus purely on open technologies like WebM

Google has just dropped a bomb shell: Chrome will no longer support H.264 HTML5 video playback. The open-sourced WebM (VP8) and Ogg Theora video codecs will be the only options for HTML5 video. H.264 will not be dropped immediately, but probably with the next stable build of Chrome. Google cites plenty of damning reasons for the exiling of H.264. Open codecs are improving faster, thanks to the ...

VLC for iPhone and iPad get pulled from the App Store

If you happened to head to the App Store this morning to search for, say, a new media player with support for a number of video formats, you may have noticed something: VLC is no longer available. A quick search returns several remote apps, but the recently-released player itself is nowhere to be found -- the VLC app has, in fact, been removed from the App Store. Ultimately, it appears as thoug...