Brian Fagioli

Amazon Prime Day 2018 is July 16, but you can score some early deals NOW!

Amazon Prime Day. Sigh. Yet another annual holiday dedicated to shopping -- we are at peak capitalism, I suppose. To be honest, it's not much different than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If you have the money to spend, you might as well score some great deals and stimulate the economy, right? Heck, if you are an American, you will probably spend money even if you don't have it!

This year, Amazon Prime Day is on July 16. There will be many deals to be had on all product categories, including tech. If you are in the market for a new laptop, smartphone, or other device, it is probably a good idea to wait until July 16 before pulling the trigger on any purchases. For instance, this year, Huawei is offering some particularly nice deals on some of its smartphones and wearables.

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Pandora Premium now available on Samsung Smart TVs

Pandora Premium may not be the most popular streaming music service, but apparently, it does have its fans. You can listen to the service on many devices, such as your computer, smartphone, and tablet.

Starting today, Pandora Premium users get yet another way to enjoy the service -- Samsung Smart televisions. You see, Pandora is delivering an application for these TVs. If you think enjoying music using a TV is crazy, think again -- you don't have to listen to Pandora using the television's internal speakers. For better audio, you can connect a receiver or sound bar to the TV.

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Ubuntu-based Bodhi Linux 5.0.0 release candidate now available

One of the best things about the Linux kernel, is that it can be used by lightweight operating systems to breathe new life into older hardware. Not all Linux-based operating systems focus on computers with aging and meager hardware, however. Instead, there are specialized distributions that focus on being light on resources.

One such excellent option for those with old hardware is Bodhi Linux. This is a lightweight operating system that is based on the wildly popular Ubuntu. It uses the Moksha desktop environment, which is a fork of Enlightenment 17. Today, Bodhi Linux 5.0.0 reaches release candidate status.

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#BetaNews20 Giveaway: System76 Linux computer seller swag kit

Today is July 1, meaning BetaNews' month-long birthday celebration is officially over. We still have some active giveaways, however -- be sure to use the below links to enter them.

We want to thank all of our readers for visiting our site over the last two decades. We look forward to serving you all for another 20 years! To close out the celebration, we are launching one final giveaway today. Linux fans in particular will love this one -- we have three System76 "swag kits" to give away.

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#BetaNews20 Giveaway: Logitech Keys-To-Go portable wireless keyboard

Nowadays, people are quite good at typing on touchscreens. Let's be honest though -- using a bigger physical keyboard will almost always be preferable. With that said, no one is going to walk around with a giant full-sized keyboard from their desk -- that would not be convenient.

Thankfully, Logitech created a product that manages to find a nice balance. The Keys-To-Go, as it is called, is a thin and light Bluetooth keyboard that you can throw in a bag and use with your iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows device. It is even compatible with Apple TV, making it a great tool when searching for movies on Netflix. To celebrate BetaNews' 20th birthday, we are giving two away!

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Linux Mint 19 'Tara' now available for download with Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce

Things have been quite exciting lately for fans of Linux Mint. The much anticipated MintBox Mini 2 is available for purchase, and we learned Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 should be available next month in Beta.

Of course, what fans of Linux Mint have really been looking forward to is the release of Tara -- version 19 of the operating system. It was supposed to be released by the end of June, and today, it just makes it in under the wire. Yes, Linux fans, you can download Linux Mint 19 "Tara" immediately. You can choose between three desktop environments -- Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

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Debian-based Raspbian Linux distribution for Raspberry Pi gets major update

Computer hardware is useless without software. As cool as the diminutive Raspberry Pi computers are, for instance, they are just paperweights until you install an operating system. The little computers can run many OSes -- including an IoT variant of Windows 10 -- but really, Linux makes it shine.

One of the most popular Linux-based operating systems for Raspberry Pi is the Debian-based Raspbian. This is the "official" distribution for the Pi hardware, and today, it gets a major update. The Chromium web browser gets bumped up to version 65, while a new and faster PDF viewer, called qpdfView, replaces Xpdf. More importantly, the operating system gets two big additions -- a new setup wizard and recommended software program.

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GE Appliances announces world's first Apple HomeKit air conditioners

Summertime only just began, and already, it is hot as hell outside. To be honest, I can deal with the heat -- it is the humidity that makes me have a bad time. As a fat guy, this means the back my shirts are usually soaked with sweat. Obesity aside, even thin folks can be miserable in hot and humid weather.

Luckily, I have central air conditioning at home -- one of life's greatest pleasures. As a tech enthusiast, I of course have it hooked to a Nest thermostat, which in turn, can be controlled by voice using Alexa. Not everyone is so lucky. Some people have to rely on an AC unit that goes in a window -- they are usually quite low tech, although some are "smart." Today, GE Appliances announces the world's first Apple HomeKit air conditioners, showing you really can get modern tech in a window unit.

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Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 3 'Cindy' Beta coming next month

Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution, right? Yes and no. While the "normal" version of the operating system is, in fact, based on Canonical's distro, there is yet another version. Called Linux Mint Debian Edition, or LMDE, it is based on Debian -- as the name implies.

Today, we learn some interesting news. The Beta of the next version of the operating system, LMDE 3 -- code-named "Cindy" -- should be released next month, in July.

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MintBox Mini 2 now available for purchase with Linux Mint 19 'Tara' pre-installed

Back in March, we reported on the Mintbox Mini 2 -- a diminutive Linux Mint desktop PC manufactured by a company called "Compulab." Of course, it can run other distributions too, such as Ubuntu and Fedora. Heck, it can even run Windows 10 if you want/need. This is the second generation of Mintbox Mini with the big difference being a switch from AMD to Intel. The fanless device is not a powerhouse, but it should run the Linux distribution like a champ. Quite frankly, it is very beautiful too -- the fins look cool as hell.

Barring any last-minute issues, the release of Linux Mint 19 "Tara" is imminent -- it should be made available any day now. As a result, starting today, you can finally order the MintBox Mini 2. Apparently, Compulab was waiting for Tara's release to get closer before taking orders. In addition to the standard model, there is also a "Pro" variant.

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Open source champion Google now a Linux Foundation Platinum Member

Google is a huge proponent of open source. The company is constantly releasing projects on GitHub -- a huge win for the open source community. Not to mention, Google leverages one of the most important open source projects for its operating systems -- the Linux kernel. Both Android and Chrome OS, for instance, are Linux-based.

Today, Google becomes a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation. This is big news, as not only will Google benefit from the platinum perks, but arguably more importantly, the Linux community will experience a huge financial win. You see, the annual cost for being a platinum member is $500,000!

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#BetaNews20 Giveaway: Logitech Doodle Collection mobile wireless mouse

June is almost over, which unfortunately means the BetaNews 20th Birthday celebration is almost over. Don't worry, we will still have more giveaways to do before July arrives.

Today, we are giving away a pair of Logitech Doodle Collection mobile wireless mice -- two winners can each win one. These mice are really fun, as they feature super funky designs -- I love it. While these small mice can be used at home with a desktop, they are more appropriate for portability with a laptop.

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Google Home learns Spanish

Do you know what the official language of the United States is? The answer may surprise you. If you said "English," you'd be quite wrong. Actually, it's a trick question -- there is no official language of the USA. That's why it's particularly ignorant to get mad at immigrants for not speaking English. Hell, getting mad at people for speaking their native language would be abhorrent even if English was the official language.

With all of that said, a lot of technology -- such as voice assistants -- are designed for English speakers. Today, Google bucks that trend by announcing its Home assistant is leaning a new language -- Spanish.

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Belkin announces two USB-C keyboards for Chrome OS tablets

Tablets running Chrome OS are actually a thing now, as the Chromebook Tab 10 shows us. While that device is mostly aimed at education, it's only a matter of time before companies offer similar devices for business and personal use too. Since Chrome OS can run Android apps now, some people expect it to replace Android on tablets in the future. I'm not yet sold on that concept -- I still prefer Android running Chrome rather than Chrome running Android, but I'll keep an open mind.

The biggest problem with Chrome OS tablets -- especially for education -- is the lack of a physical keyboard. The Chromebook Tab 10, for instance, is just a tablet -- it does not come with a detachable keyboard. Well, Belkin aims to solve this with the all-new Wired Tablet Keyboard with Stand. As the name implies, it is a USB-C keyboard that props up the tablet for a laptop-like typing experience. In addition, the company unveils a similar keyboard without the stand. That product will work with tablets too, although it is probably better suited for a USB-C enabled Chromebook (when connected to a monitor as a desktop), Chromebase, or Chromebox.

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Amazon Kindle now supports Arabic language books

Amazon’s Kindle hardware and associated online ebook store have revolutionized the reading experience. While some folks are scared of change, and desperately clutch their paper books, the future is clearly digital. Quite frankly, it’s wasteful to produce paper books. Not to mention, they take up too much room in a home.

Surprisingly, Kindle does not support the Arabic language. Today this changes, however, as Amazon launches more than 12,000 ebooks in that language.

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