Fedora is a great Linux distribution, but it is not always a wise choice for beginners. Since the distro focuses on truly free and open source software, it can be hard to get non-free packages, proprietary drivers, fonts, and codecs installed. Fedora 28 makes this easier thanks to an update to the Software app, but it is still not as easy as say, Ubuntu.
That's why Korora is such a cool operating system -- it uses Fedora as a base, but comes pre-installed with useful apps and repositories. True, that sort of deviates from the Fedora ideology, but at least it gives users choice. Sadly for some, Korora development is ending -- at least for the time being -- as the developer no longer has the resources to continue.
Over the weekend, we reported on an Ubuntu Snap Store app that had a hidden cryptocurrency miner. This was a disappointing discovery, as users' machines were being hijacked to earn money for the developer.
With that said, it wasn't necessarily malware, as it did not cause harm to the computer, nor did it steal data or install a backdoor. Nevertheless, Canonical pulled the offending app and the developer's other submissions. The apps will eventually be re-listed without the mining code. Today, the company breaks its silence, finally commenting officially on this fiasco.
Wireless mice are more aesthetically pleasing than wired variants, but for the most part, I choose pointing devices with cables. Why? Well, nothing infuriates me more than having a mouse stop working because the battery died -- especially while in the middle of a game. At least with a wired mouse, I don't have to worry about that.
Today, Logitech unveils an affordable gaming mouse that offers an incredible 250 hours of battery life, meaning anxiety about depleted batteries should be minimal. An indicator light will alert you when power is getting low, so you won't be caught off guard. Best of all, the "G305 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse," as it is called, uses a single AA battery -- easy to find and replace. And yes, the battery is included! Logitech claims the G305 can outperform wired mice too, all at a shockingly low price.
AMD has been doing tremendous things on the consumer front lately. Its new Ryzen 2 processors and X470 chipset have enthusiasts excited, thanks to big performance coupled with small prices. Seriously, folks, AMD is where it's at for value. Hardcore enthusiasts can even opt for the Ryzen Threadripper processors for a top multi-core experience.
While AMD CPUs are great, its APUs offer even more bang for your buck. If you aren't familiar, an APU is essentially a CPU and GPU on one chip. Today, AMD announces new Ryzen PRO APUs, which have Radeon Vega-level graphics. These "Pro" chips are designed for business-class machines, and three major manufacturers -- Dell, HP, and Lenovo -- are already embracing them.
Cloud storage is one of the most significant innovations in tech history. Let's be honest, many people fail to backup their important files. When something bad happens -- like a drive failing or a smartphone breaking -- people always wish that they had remembered to back things up. With the cloud nowadays, data backup is often done automatically to an off-site location, meaning your data is safe and secure no matter what. Long gone is the need to fiddle with external drives -- which can be lost to a disaster, by the way.
Google Drive is one of the best such options, as the search giant provides an easy and affordable way for you to back up your files, including precious family photos. Not to mention, you want to be sure that the cloud storage is being maintained by a company that is well-known and unlikely to go out of business -- Google certainly meets that. Today, the company announces an upgrade to its paid cloud storage. Called "Google One," the biggest goal is simplicity.
There was a recent discovery that an app called "2048buntu" in the Ubuntu Snap Store contained cryptocurrency (Bytecoin) mining code. Thankfully, this app -- and the developer's other submissions -- have since been removed.
What is the downside to having this cryptocurrency code commingled with the expected code? Well, the mining can slow down your computer while also increasing your electricity use.
Just yesterday, we shared the news that System76 had refreshed its popular Oryx Pro laptop. The Linux community was abuzz with excitement over the thinner and faster notebook. After all, it offers a lot of horsepower at a very affordable price. Heck, the battery life has even doubled compared to its predecessor!
The computer seller is apparently not ready to slow down, however, as today it also refreshes its affordable and svelte Galago Pro Linux ultrabook. What's particularly exciting about the new model is that it has two screen sizes -- 13 inch HiDPI or 14 inch 1080p (in matte). Regardless of which you choose, the overall dimensions stay the same. How can that be, you ask? Well, for the 14 inch model, the bezels are just thinner.
The smart home is a huge industry right now -- more and more appliances are gaining internet connectivity all the time. For instance, you can control your lights, garage door, television, and sprinkler system with an app nowadays. Hell, there are even internet-connected refrigerators! What a world we live in, eh?
Schlage has been selling smart deadbolt door locks that you can operate via app. Since they also have a key pad, you can share codes with friends and family so they can enter when you aren't around -- don't worry, you can always change the pin. The concept of a child carrying a key around their neck is a thing of the past. Today, the company announces that its Sense Smart Deadbolt and Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt are getting Alexa voice unlock capability. Wait -- is that a good idea? Actually, yes.
Last week, System76 started to share details about its refreshed Linux-powered Oryx Pro laptop. It would be thinner and more powerful, while adding twice the battery life of its predecessor. Unfortunately, we did not yet know exactly what the laptop looked like. Today, we finally have official images.
This new Oryx Pro is quite breathtaking, as it is a true Pro machine -- with the USB Type-A, Ethernet, and HDMI ports you expect -- while being just 19mm thin. It has the horsepower that power-users need, thanks to its 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-Series GPU. Hey, Apple, this is what a "Pro" laptop should be...
Notepad is a classic piece of software. It is the unsung hero of every Windows installation. If you want to jot down a quick note, it is a blank canvas awaiting your keystrokes. As a young man, I used Notepad to write my school papers. Microsoft Office was reserved for rich folks, and there was no LibreOffice -- or even Open Office -- yet. Even the no-frills Microsoft Works was priced out of my family's reach, but I digress.
As Microsoft turns its attention away from the wonderful Paint to focus on the terrible Photos and Paint 3D, you'd expect the company to forget about good ol' Notepad. Surprisingly, however, it hasn't. In fact, the Windows-maker today announces that Notepad on Windows 10 is getting both Linux and Mac line endings support. Wow -- this really is a new Microsoft...
Google is a big supporter and user of Linux. Android, for instance, is the most popular Linux-based distribution in the world. Mobile aside, the search giant also leverages the open source kernel for its desktop operating system -- Chrome OS. While some Linux purists decry calling Google's operating systems "Linux," it simply cannot be denied. They are Linux.
I can understand some people suggesting traditional Linux distributions like Ubuntu or Fedora, but Chrome OS -- and the Chromebooks on which it runs -- is arguably more secure while also being easier to use. If I had to choose one operating system for accessing bank websites, for instance, I'd choose Chrome OS over any other. Unfortunately, its limited nature -- which makes it secure and easy to use -- also hinders power users. Sometimes a web or Android app just won't cut it. Well, folks, thankfully the rumors were true -- traditional Linux programs are coming to Chrome OS!
Ubuntu 18.04 was released last month, and for the most part, it is a solid release. As per usual, version 18.04 was given a silly name -- Bionic Beaver. Canonical follows an alphabetic naming convention, where two words are used that start with that same letter. The first word tends to be an adjective or other descriptive word, while the second word is always an animal. And yes, it is all a bit silly.
With the upcoming Ubuntu 18.10 -- due in October -- the name will be based on the letter "C." Today, Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical, reveals the next Ubuntu version name -- Cosmic Cuttlefish. Don't know what a cuttlefish is? It's that weird looking thing in the picture above.
If you are a PC gamer, there are many ways to gain an edge -- such as upgrading components and accessories. A new GPU and mouse, for instance, can make a big difference. With console gaming you are much more limited -- you can't upgrade the CPU, GPU, or RAM. Some argue that is a good thing, as it levels the playing field, while others say a lack of upgradeability is a negative.
If you are an Xbox One gamer, however, there is a new piece of hardware that could give you an edge when playing online -- the Linksys WRT32XB 802.11ac wireless router. If you aren't familiar, this is a variant of the company's WRT32X gaming router where the firmware has been optimized for Xbox One (plus PCs using Killer networking). Linksys says it can detect Xbox traffic and reduce peak ping by up to 65 percent, and ultimately, reduce lag. If you are dubious of that claim, please know that Microsoft has certified this router as a part of the "Designed for Xbox" program. Today, the Linksys WRT32XB finally becomes available for purchase.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is one of the best Android smartphones you can buy. Not only is it elegantly made, but it has top specifications, including a drool-worthy display. The camera even leverages artificial intelligence, making it one of the best picture-taking experiences on the market. Don't forget -- BetaNews is giving one of these amazing flagships away, so be sure to enter our giveaway here.
Only one person can win our contest, however, so if you really want a Mate 10 Pro, your best bet is to simply buy one. Thankfully, starting today, the Huawei flagship becomes more affordable. You see, from now through May 19, you can score one for a mere $649 -- that is $150 off the MSRP! Best of all, the phone is unlocked, so you can use it on any GSM carrier in the USA, such as T-Mobile and AT&T.
Technology companies have been telling us virtual reality will change the world for decades now. While VR has become more popular in recent years, it is still a niche market. Virtual reality will probably become mainstream in the future, but until prices come down even further, it will remain a hobby for enthusiasts.
With that said, Google is still banking on virtual reality, especially with its Daydream initiative. Today, the search giant is making a VR positional-tracking tool called "Seurat" open source. The code is being hosted on GitHub.