Secure Blackphone starts shipping

./themukt reports that Blackphone has started shipping:

Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone developed by Silent Circle, SGP Technologies and Geeksphone, is now shipping. The phone became a sensation during Mobile World Congress as it offered extreme privacy of communication. After the NSA revelations made by Edward Snowden, there is a huge demand for services or devices which offer privacy from NSA and other surveillance agencies.

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Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” KDE released!

The Mukt reports:

The Linux Mint team has announced the release of Linux Mint 17 KDE codenamed Qiana. It’s based on KDE Software Compilation 4.13.0. There are many improvements in things like ‘update manager’ which improves the use experience and also show which type of updates are these. Then the device manager has also improved and it can install drivers even when the machine can’t connect to the Internet as most drivers are available in the iso itself.

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7 Improvements The Linux Desktop Needs

Bruce Byfield writes on Datamation

In the last fifteen years, the Linux desktop has gone from a collection of marginally adequate solutions to an unparalleled source of innovation and choice. Many of its standard features are either unavailable in Windows, or else available only as a proprietary extension. As a result, using Linux is increasingly not only a matter of principle, but of preference as well.

Yet, despite this progress, gaps remain. Some are missing features, others missing features, and still others pie-in-the sky extras that could be easily implemented to extend the desktop metaphor without straining users’ tolerance of change.

Read more…

Unlock your Nexus device and install 4.4.3 [Tutorial]

Google has published 4.4.3 update for its Nexus devices without telling us anything about it. There is no official announcement or blog about it. The reports are coming in that OTA updates are also being pushed. If you can’t wait for OTA, then you can upgarde your Nexus device manually. Just take back-up of data such as images or downloaded files. Once done, follow these steps (courtesy: Ubuntu Wiki)

First download the appropriate image for your device from this link.

How to update?

If you are using any Ubuntu-based system install fastboot by running this command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-device-flash

If your Nexus device is unlocked then you can skip this step and move to next one, if not then continue:
1. Boot into the bootloader (power off the device and then power it on by holding the power button + volume up + volume down)
2. When you see the bootloader, connect the device to the PC
3. Open the terminal and run

sudo fastboot oem unlock

Now Nexus screen will show whether you want to unlock or now and also tell you which hardware keys to use to select ‘yes’. Use volume key to select the option you want and power key to select it.

Note: If unlocking fails, you may have to enable the USB debugging. Reboot the Nexus in Android. Enable the developer mode of your device by tapping seven times on the ‘Build number’. Then go to Developer option and select USB debugging. Now repeat the above steps.

Once you have unlocked the device, Nexus will take some time to reboot into unlocked system. In my case I had to once again enable the developer mode, and USB debugging so if that be the case you can checn under settings if the USB debugging is still enabled.

Insatll new Android updates

Now extract the Nexus image that you have downloaded on your PC, cd to the extracted folder and as run the following command:

run adb reboot-bootloader

Once your Nexus boots in to the boot loader, run the following command:

sudo ./

Wait for it to complete and once done your Nexus will boot into the brand new Android.

Please keep in mind, don’t disconnect the USB during any of the above opearations.

Linux Foundation to donate portion of membership fees to

The Linux Foundation announced its mid-year individual membership drive and promotion. For each new membership between 01 June to 11:59 p.m. PT on June 30, 2014, will receive $25. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion of computer science by making it available in more schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is to provide the opportunity of learning computer science to every school student. identifies with the Linux Foundation’s mission to increase opportunities for people to learn programming of all types.

Amanda McPherson, CMO at The Linux Foundation explains – “Many of today’s Linux professionals got started as students, tinkering with computers and writing simple programs during college. By helping extend individual membership contributions this month to, we hope the community can support Linux and the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds while helping to increase access to computer science education for the next generation of Linux developers and SysAdmins”.

Learning and education are top priorities at The Linux Foundation too. It recently announced the first ‘Introduction to Linux’ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which is free for all. More than 140,000 people already enrolled for the first class that begins this August. It also offers and organizes various training programs.

The Linux Foundation memberships support the advancement of Linux and open source community. As additional perks, members also receive exclusive benefits that include 20 percent off LinuxCon and CloudOpen registration; up to 10 percent off Linux Foundation training; a email address (e.g. [email protected]); employee purchase pricing from Dell, HP and Lenovo; up to 35 percent off O’Reilly books and e-books; and a variety of other discounts.

The membership fee per year is $99. For students it is $25 and includes the same benefits as individual members. To sign up, visit:

ownCloud gets new CMO

ownCloud announced in their blog that Claudine Bianchi has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The move aims to secure a stronger position in File Sync and Share for the most popular open source software in this category.

Bianchi brings her strong marketing expertise and success in driving the growth of B2B companies to ownCloud. She has delivered close to $1 billion in market value for investors through IPOs, successful acquisitions and new ventures. She has been working closely with sales and product teams for more than 20 years to leverage the latest marketing techniques to drive revenue and build brand awareness. Before joining ownCloud she was the CMO at ViewDo Labs, a spinout of Axceler which was acquired by MetaLogix, the leading Microsoft SharePoint ISV. She has also been the seniormost marketing executive at many start-up companies which later turned into industry leaders.

ownCloud is a reliable name in self-hosted file sync and share with 1.3 million users worldwide. Explaining why she got interested in ownCloud Bianchi says – “I was attracted to ownCloud by its compelling opportunity in the very hot enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market, as well as the energy and innovation of the ownCloud team”. She also adds that “the Company has already built a strong reputation in the open source community for secure, enterprise-class file sync and share and is poised for rapid growth as it moves into the commercial market. With the combination of excellent technology and products and a passionate, smart, energetic team, ownCloud is a company destined for great success.”

The ownCloud management is very excited to have Bianchi on board and hopes that she and other significant hires this year will boost the expansion efforts of the company.

LibreOffice 4.2.5 RC1 announced with many improvements

The Document Foundation announced LibreOffice 4.2.5 Release Candidate 1. Many bugs have been fixed since the 4.2.4 final release improving the usability and stability of the product.

Important fixes and changes include:
– Text rotation fixes
– Set-all language menu addition
– Support to import gradfill for tet colours
– Adjust output file extension when exporting
– Handle brightness+contrast from msoffice
– Fix for a coverity analysis report of an uninitialized pointer field
– Crash when pasting impress page into another impress page fixed
– Improve mapping between ATK and UNO roles
– Fixed COW when writing a nested structure during RTF import
– Crash found when exploring fixed
– Fix deletion of paragraph following table
– Comment width now limited
– Limited the range shrinking in charts to really large ranges
– KFileDialog crash fix
– A freeze during file save fixed
– and many more (changelog)…

You can download the packages from the official page.

Remember that this is a Release Candidate and though expected to be stabler than Beta may still have some issues which need to be fixed before the final release.

Samsung introduces first Tizen phone to compete with Windows and Android

Samsung now has its mobile eggs in three baskets. The company has introduced its first Tizen powered smartphone called Samsung Z. Samsung is already using Tizen in its smart cameras and smart watches.

Though Samsung has refrained from mentioning Android, they do claim that its fast and efficient. “The Tizen platform delivers a fast, optimal performance with improved memory management.” Samsung claims that Tizen offers a fasterstartup time and immediate multi-tasking capabilities. The company also brags about “superb 2D and 3D graphic qualities, smoother scrolling and an improved rendering performance for web browsing.”

Here are the specs of the phone, Samzung Z:


It’s unclear what Samsung wants to achieve with Tizen, when it’s already a market leader with Android. Maybe Samsung wants a more Apple-like approach to own and control the entire stack – from software and hardware. Samsung is already known for vendor lock and keeps non-Samsung Android users out of its ecosystem (if you have Samsung smart TV or BD players, the Anroid app for such devices is available only for Samsung devices).

One huge disadvantage Tizen has when compared with Android is the huge and very well curated app and content ecosystem that Google has created. As far as Samsung Z is concerned, it’s an orginary phone and doesn’t excite from hardware point of view – whether it be design or sensors that come with it. .

What’s Tizen?

Tizen is a Linux-based, Open Source operating system targeted at devices like smartphones, tablets, TVs, laptops, smart-camera, cars, etc. The roots of the OS goes back to LiMo Platform – a software platform for mobile devices. The LiMO foundation was formed back in 2007 and Samsung was one of the founding members. After failed attempts with Moblin and then Maemo (as Nokia started to kill its open source projects under Stephen Elop to become a trusted Microsoft mistress) Intel joined LiMo and then the projects was renamed to Tizen, The Linux Foundation took over the hosting of the project. The Tizen code is build on top of Samsung Linux Platform (SLP). So Tizen has been a Samsung baby from the very beginning, it would be incorrect to say Samsung is now adoption Tizen over Android.

Samsung will start selling the device in Russia and will later expand to other markets. In order to expand a developer community around Tizen Samsung is starting off with “a special promotional program to all developers for one year. Furthermore, Samsung plans to host a Tizen local app challenges in Russia and CIS countries to enrich the Tizen eco-system at the launch of the device.

NVIDIA Linux 64-bit driver update adds new GPUs

NVIDIA announced a Short Lived Branch update for the Linux 64-bit drivers, version 337.25. This update adds support for many new GPU models in addition to some critical fixes.

The important changes in this update are:

– Support for new GPUs – GeForce GTX TITAN Z, GeForce GT 740, GeForce 830M, GeForce 840M, GeForce 845M, GeForce GTX 850M
– Fix for X to crash when querying clock offsets for non-existent performance levels.
– Fix for a OpenGL rendering corruption on X screens with 30 bit per pixel color.
– Mode validation failure for 4K resolutions over HDMI in certain situations fixed.
– Enabled support for using Unified Back Buffer (UBB) and 3D Stereo with the composite extension on Quadro cards.
– Fix for OpenGL programs hanging under some low memory conditions.
– GPU errors when hotplugging daisy-chained DisplayPort 1.2 displays fixed.
– Multiple simultaneous X servers on UEFI systems works without any problem now.
– Support for over-clocking and under-clocking GeForce GPUs in the GeForce GTX 400 series and later.
– Reduced CPU utilization and GPU memory utilization of the NVIDIA EGL driver.
– Support for some EGL extensions – EGL_EXT_buffer_age, EGL_EXT_client_extensions, EGL_EXT_platform_base, EGL_EXT_platform_x11.
– Some more fixes, dependency related changes and documentation updates.

The Short Lived Branch gets the maximum number of updates among the 3 driver versions that NVIDIA maintains. It receives the first updates from the devs as well as improvements for games and applications. Other than Arch most major distributions won’t add this branch to their official repositories.

You can download this update directly from the announcement page. Once downloaded, change to the directory containing the driver package and install the driver by running (as root) sh ./ One of the last installation steps will offer to update your X configuration file. You can either accept that offer, edit your X configuration file manually so that the NVIDIA X driver will be used, or run nvidia-xconfig.

Linus Torvalds reads mean tweets

Linus Torvalds has a great sense of humor (depending on your taste of humor), as long as you are not at the receiving end. But there is nothing funnier than him reading some tweets targeting him. The Linux Foundation has published a video where Linus is reading some tweets on the lines of Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets series.

Here is the video.

Can you find some really funny tweets targeting Linus and share with us in comments below?