New flag to put Chrome bookmarks in app launcher

Chrome has only allowed the creation of icons in the app launcher by developers for the apps themselves. However, with this new flag available for all versions of Chrome, users could soon be able to create icons in the app launcher for their favorite Chrome bookmarks. When creating icons for the app, Chrome either uses the websites favicon (the image next to the bookmark) or creates one for it.

In order for Chrome to use the favicon given by the website, it must be at least 32px, according to François Beaufort, who had originally found the flag. However, if the favicon is smaller, then Chrome will create one for the icon. It uses the most dominant color in the favicon given by the website, and uses that as the background. Then, it takes the first letter of the domain name and paints it on the front in either black or white, according to the background color.

Screenshot of a bookmark in the chrome app launcher for Windows
Screenshot of a bookmark in the chrome app launcher for Windows

You do not have to be running any specific release channel in order to utilise this flag, and it can be accessed on any platform, whether it be Windows running a Chrome browser, or Chrome OS. In order to enable this flag, you must copy and paste or type the following into the omnibox in Chrome at the top of the screen.
chrome://flags/#enable-streamlined-hosted-apps

After doing this, a page will come up with a list of flags that can be enabled. The one that you want to enable is the highlighted one at the top of your window. After enabling it, you must restart your browser by clicking the restart button at the bottom of the window.

Once Chrome restarts, it is then a simple process to add Chrome bookmarks to your app launcher.

  1. Go to the webpage you want to add
  2. Click on the ≡ (chrome menu)
  3. Go to Tools on Windows/Mac or More tools on Chrome OS
  4. Click on “Add shortcut to this website…”

The chrome bookmarks will then show as an icon in the app launcher, and can be added to the dock for Chrome OS users.

Note to Chrome OS users: After enabling this flag, I could not longer set apps to open as a regular tab, pinned tab, window, or maximized. In my case, this is a feature that became disabled. However, the experience may be different across different Chromebooks and release channels.

If you want to learn more about flags and how to enable them, watch the video below by Christian Cantrell, who does an excellent job explaining how to enable different Chrome Flags, and other advanced features of Chrome.

[youtube id=”QndSTFwwOs0″]

Caution: Before going through any process of changing what a Chromebook does normally, be ready to get unexpected results. These features are still in development, so sometimes can cause problems with your browser, or cause problems in Chrome OS.

Source: François Beaufort

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.

Read more….

Linux Mint KDE reviewed

The Mukt has done a review of Linux Mint KDE 17:

As with any Linux Mint release, I love this release too. What I love the most about Linux Mint is that the only compromise they have made, in order to generate some revenue to fund the project, is the inclusion of Yahoo! as the search engine which uses Bing – but you can easily switch back to Google.

Besides this, from what I interpret, the primary goal of Linux Mint team is to learn what users want and then offer it. I don’t want to talk about Ubuntu here, but one of the biggest differences between the two projects is that Canonical is delivering what they want, and at times ignoring what users need, whereas Linux Mint is taking pains to give what user actually need. A pro-user distro is always a preferred choice in the GNU/Linux world.

If we compared Linux Mint with Kubuntu, which is obvious. I found each to have some pros and some cons. While Linux Mint does a great job at better integration of gkt-kde apps and its Software Manager is a bit more polished than Muon Software center, Kubuntu seems to offer a better upgrade path as well as quicker and cleaner access to latest packages.

Read more here…

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.

Read more…

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…

ownCloud Contributor Conference to be held on Aug 26 in TU Berlin

The ownCloud Contributor Conference will take place at the TU Berlin, August 26-31 with an aim to give existing and prospective ownCloud contributors a platform to get together to get work done. Lightning talks, workshops and keynotes will give everyone the opportunity to share what is going on in ownCloud.

“It’s that time again, time to get together to bring ownCloud to the next level! Last year was so much fun – and productive – and this year we plan twice the fun. Even those who are not yet active contributors are super welcome to join us, learn what is going on, learn how to work with the code and become an active member of the contributor community,” wrote Jos Poortvliet of ownCloud.

With recent revelations about the NSA tracking data, ownCloud has become a fast growing alternative to things like Dropbox and Google Docs. ownCloud gives you universal access to your files through a web interface or WebDAV and boasts around 2 million users.

Crucial for ownCloud’s ability to appeal to so many users, is the open source community of contributors that works hard to add ownCloud features.

The hackathon is going to be held from August 26 to 31st, with an added conference day on the 30th which will feature lightning talks and workshops for beginners and new contributors as well as more advanced subjects.
The lightning talks will help you learn about work progress like “what’s new in the News app,” to introduce new API’s and to share knowledge like ‘write fast code’ or ‘common security mistakes.’

If you are keen to contribute to and improve ownCloud, be it through coding, testing, documentation or translating, register now.

The ownCloud Contributor Conference is free and open. You can find more info at http://ownCloud.org/conf.

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

Then

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 ./flash-all.sh

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.

Dell launches Android-based Venue tablets at Computex 2014

Dell has added two new Android-based models to its Venue lineup of tablets. Both the Venue 7 and the Venue 8 tablets now run Android 4.4 KitKat and come with budget specifications.

Dell’s Venue 7 sports a 7-inch 1280 x 800 pixel display and an Intel Atom Z3460 dual-core processor, which is clocked at 1.6 GHz coupled with 1GB of RAM. It also includes 16GB of internal memory, which is expandable up to 64GB thanks to a microSD card slot. Priced at $160, the tablet is said to offer excellent battery performance with a 4550 mAh battery.

The Venue 8 packs a full HD 1080p screen, compared to last year’s 1,280×800-pixel feature. It has on board a slightly faster Intel Atom Z3480 processor; however, you will have to shell out $40 more for the 8-incher than the Venue 7. The tablet comes with a 2MP front-facing camera rather than the 1MP unit on the Venue 7. (Both have a 5MP primary camera on the back.)

Both the Android-powered Venue tablets will be available in the US starting July 1st at Dell.com. The company did not disclose Australian pricing for the new Android tablets, nor a release date; Dell is yet to announce UK details for the tablets too.

Dell plans to add voice-calling capabilities to both models, but alas only for select countries.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux launched for SAP HANA

Red Hat has expanded the company’s strategic alliance with SAP AG to make it easier for customers to adopt and run the SAP Data Management portfolio, including the SAP HANA platform, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE), SAP IQ software, and the SAP SQL Anywhere suite on Red Hat’s open source solutions.

The expanded collaboration is expected to enable real-time, in-memory innovation by providing an open, scalable, integrated and highly-available platform for solutions from SAP along with those that are custom-built in an effort to expand customer choice when it comes to fueling business performance and helping enterprises realize increased value from cloud computing and big data.

Steve Lucas, president, Platform Solutions, SAP AG added: “By joining forces with Red Hat to enable SAP HANA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we plan to give our customers an additional choice upon which to base deployments of SAP solutions; an open, flexible and scalable platform that is intended to support customers’ data management needs across on-premise and cloud environments.”

As the foundation of the enhanced partnership, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now available and qualified for production use of SAP HANA and supported by partners’ SAP-certified hardware solutions. SAP HANA enables customers to capture business transactions to help make smarter, faster decisions through real-time analysis and reporting combined with dramatically accelerated business processes. Customers can now also enjoy expanded choice when it comes to their deployments of SAP HANA to experience the reliability, quality and stability offered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux. They can also standardize deployments of SAP solutions on Red Hat’s high-performing, secure and open platform, helping to ensure consistency of operations across the business.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP HANA is designed for easy deployment and simplified integration, and will be available via SAP-certified hardware appliances from partners. Delivered through the power of the partner ecosystems of Red Hat and SAP, it is planned for customers to now have access to a portfolio of cross-industry experience and expertise that harnesses the flexible, scalable and open nature of SAP software and Red Hat solutions that are designed to meet a variety of enterprise information requirements.

Linux Foundation to donate portion of membership fees to Code.org

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, Code.org will receive $25.

Code.org 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. Code.org 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 Code.org, 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 Linux.com 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:
https://www.linuxfoundation.org/about/join/individual