Debian is one of the most important open source projects ever. The Debian Linux operating system is extremely popular in its own right, but also, it is used as the base for countless other distributions. Ubuntu, for instance -- one of the most-used distros -- is Debian-based. Even Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, also has a Debian edition. Not to mention, Raspbian -- the official Raspberry Pi OS -- which is based on Debian too.
Today, Debian is celebrating a very important milestone -- a 25th birthday! Yes, it is seriously that old -- its development was announced on August 16, 1993. Hell, many of its current users weren't even born then!
Storing files in the cloud is very convenient, but understandably, if they contain extremely sensitive information -- such as trade secrets -- you may not want to transmit them over the internet. For this, locally stored data is probably a better move. Of course, if possible, you should encrypt the storage drive. Encryption may even be required as a result of new laws and regulations such as California's Consumer Privacy Act and GDPR.
Software-based encryption for storage drives is better than nothing, but hardware-based is obviously superior. Apricorn has been producing hardware-encrypted USB drives for a while now, and they are very well respected. Today, the company unveils its latest such drive. Called "Aegis Secure Key 3NX," it uses 256-bit AES XTS hardware-encryption -- FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validation is pending. The successor to the well-received Secure Key 3z features a convenient keypad, making it easy to lock and unlock when needed.
I'm not a Microsoft "hater" at all. With that said, I am not a fan of the state of Windows 10. The privacy issues alone are a reason to avoid the operating system, but that is hardly the only concern. For instance, Microsoft has been pre-loading tiles for games like Candy Crush and other apps -- a move that shows major disrespect towards its customers. Not to mention, the "Insiders" program is just a way for the company to get free beta testing -- Microsoft is all too happy to treat Windows 10 users as guinea pigs. It is all very shameful.
These days, if someone asks my advice on buying a computer, I recommend purchasing a Mac, Chromebook, or PC with a traditional desktop Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu. If you are happy with your current computer, but hate Windows 10, installing a Linux distro is very easy nowadays. I often suggest that Windows switchers try Zorin OS as it has a familiar interface. Today, that excellent operating system reaches version 12.4.
When you own a Mac, there aren't many keyboards from which to choose. True, any USB or Bluetooth keyboard should work, but most are designed for Windows -- they are not labeled for macOS keys such as "function" and "command."
Apple's own keyboards are excellent, but not everyone likes the style. Not to mention, they are wildly expensive. Hilariously, Apple even charges a premium for the black models. Seriously, the company makes you pay more because of the color. Thankfully, there are some third parties that make quality Mac accessories that are more affordable. One such company, Macally, today announces a no-nonsense USB membrane keyboard designed for macOS. Called "XKEYLED," it features backlit keys for typing in the dark.
Fortnite is a gaming phenomenon like the world has never seen before. Sure, there have been plenty of popular games before it, but Fortnite is a different beast -- its fans are extremely passionate about it. It generates insane amounts of money for its developer, Epic Games, too.
The game is coming to Android as a temporary Samsung exclusive, but then, it will become available to other devices too. Apparently, fans cannot wait, as they are searching for the game anyway, and sadly, installing fake versions. For phones that support expandable storage via microSD, HyperX today releases new gaming cards -- perfectly timed for Fortnite. Of course, it is also a great option for Nintendo Switch.
Cloud storage rules -- especially when coupled with a local backup plan. Quite frankly, it is one of the best computing innovations of all time. How cool is it that you can easily backup important files to an offsite location? Let's be honest -- before the cloud, many computer and smartphone users didn't bother backing up at all. While many still do not, the cloud has definitely improved the situation through convenience and affordability.
I have long been a proponent of the cross-platform Dropbox, as it has really been the only major cloud storage company to offer Linux support. Google, for example -- which uses the Linux kernel for both Android and Chrome OS -- shamefully never brought its Drive cloud storage platform to traditional desktop Linux. Unfortunately, Dropbox is suddenly making the cloud rain poop on Linux users. In a shocking turn of events, it is dropping support for most file systems.
With more and more people cutting the cord, streaming media devices such as Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV are continually gaining in popularity. This is in addition to smart televisions, which can include some of the same apps and functionality.
Roku boxes are a popular option not only because they are affordable, but also, they have access to the Roku Channel -- a totally free offering of popular movies and other media. If you don't own a Roku box, you cannot watch that complimentary content, right? Actually, starting today, anyone can view the movies online -- no Roku hardware needed!
Next month, students across America will be returning to school. Whether K-12 or college, technology has become increasingly important in the classroom. It is for this reason that a laptop can be an essential tool for a learner.
Microsoft recently launched the Surface Go, and while the underpowered tablet looks like a decent enough option for students on a budget, let's be honest -- it isn't a true laptop. Its floppy keyboard (which is sold separately) means it is not sturdy on a lap. Not to mention, it is more of a secondary computer -- not a main PC. If you would rather equip the student in your life with a true computer, why not turn to Linux? After all, open source is the future of computing. System76 has a new back-to-school sale that makes buying a computer running Ubuntu or Pop!_OS much more affordable.
If your laptop is low on storage space, adding an external storage drive is a great way to easily increase it overall. These USB drives are great for backup too. If anything happens to your computer's internal storage drive, it is nice knowing your important files are also stored on a separate external drive for peace of mind.
Thanks to solid state storage, these external drives are better than ever, as they have no moving parts. Compared to an external hard disk drive, the SSD is faster, uses less energy, and is less prone to breakage. Today, Fantom Drives launches its latest such portable SSD. Called "G-Force 3.1," it leverages USB 3.1 gen 2 and the Type-C connector. Best of all, the drive is extremely durable -- important when taking a drive on the go.
Apple didn't invent wireless smartphone charging. Actually, the iPhone-maker was far behind in this regard -- there were already many Android and Windows Phones with the capability. Hell, the Palm Pre had that feature all the way back in 2009! The iPhone didn't get it until 2017. Isn't Apple supposed to be a trendsetter?
And yet, despite being a laggard, as is typical with Apple, its use of Qi charging accelerated the standard's popularity. Shockingly, the comapny still doesn't sell its own such charging dock -- its own product has been delayed. Thankfully, there are plenty of third party wireless chargers that are iPhone compatible. Today, Logitech unveils a Qi wireless charger that is designed for the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus. Called "POWERED," it cradles the phone and props it up vertically. This eliminates the possibility of misalignment, which can cause a failure to charge. And yes, POWERED supports Apple's 7.5watt fast-charging.
Microsoft Surface Go is not an expensive tablet. Starting at just $399, it costs far less than the Surface Pro. Still, if you are spending your hard-earned money on it, you probably want to protect the investment. After all, if it does break, you probably cannot repair it on your own.
A case is a great way to shield the Surface Go from damage, and today, Urban Armor Gear launches two such products. Both cases -- the Metropolis and Plasma -- are MIL-STD 810G 516.6 rated and compatible with the official type cover. They even feature a place to hold the Surface Pen.
When it comes to processors, AMD has always been seen as the "underdog." Early on, many in-the-know system builders chose AMD chips for their computers as they offered comparable performance to Intel at a more affordable price. As time progressed, AMD retained its affordability, but Intel definitely pulled away from a performance standpoint.
With the Ryzen line, AMD has been on Intel's heels. With the Threadripper line in particular, AMD has been eating Intel's lunch, offering an unrivaled multicore experience. Today, AMD announces that its 2nd generation of Ryzen Threadripper is available immediately for pre-order. This is very exciting, as the top-model, the 2990WX, features an insane 32 cores and 64 threads. This drool-worthy chip has even set a Cinebench world record.
HyperX's cloud headsets are very popular with gamers and it's not hard to see why. The gaming headsets are comfortable, well-built, and offer solid audio performance. Not to mention, they are reasonably priced.
Today, HyperX launches the "Cloud for PS4" gaming headset. Essentially, it is just the existing Cloud headset with a blue paint job and PlayStation logo. That's OK though -- if you are a PlayStation fan in need of a headset, it's a great way to show off your fandom.
I'm a GNOME fan, but I appreciate other desktop environments too. KDE isn't my favorite, but when implemented properly, I can definitely see the allure. My favorite KDE-focused Linux distribution is Netrunner Rolling. It is based on the rock-solid Manjaro and Arch, but more importantly, it has a very polished user interface. Since it is follows a rolling release, the packages are always up to date too. An overall excellent distro for both Linux beginners and experts alike.
As a rolling release, it isn't necessary to upgrade the operating system at milestones, as with, say, Ubuntu or Fedora. But still, periodically, the ISOs are refreshed to roll up the latest updates and fixes. This way, there is less updating needed after a fresh install. Today, Netrunner Rolling 2018.08 sees release, meaning for those of you that are anal about maintaining up-to-date install media, it is time to burn a DVD or update a flash drive.
Kodi is great software for consuming media, but the best way to experience it is with a Linux distribution that focuses on it. If you aren't familiar, LibreELEC is one such distro -- it allows the user to focus exclusively on Kodi without any distractions. Best of all, it doesn't just run on traditional PC hardware, but the Raspberry Pi too. Yes, by leveraging an inexpensive Pi device, you can create a powerful media box for your television.
Today, the first Alpha of LibreELEC 9.0 becomes available for download. This follows the recent release of Kodi 18 Leia preview, and yes, LibreELEC 9.0 is based on Leia.