Category Archives: News Briefs


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?


The Metropolitan Museum of Arts offers over 300,000 images for free download

Ever wished that the pieces hung in those art museums were part of your living room, or maybe even your wallpaper? Unless you are a world class art thief or a multi-millionaire, those dreams would remain a dream generally. But thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts’ decision to release an astounding 394,000 high resolution images of the world class images it has in its collection, that dream can now be fulfilled quite easily.

The initiative by the Museum is called – Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) – and gives access to work of art that it believes to be in the public domain and free of other known restrictions.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art said, “Through this new, open-access policy, we join a growing number of museums that provide free access to images of art in the public domain. I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts has the most extensive collection of artwork in the world, including more than 500 Picassos, along with dozens of paintings from Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas. Apart from the European master’s masterpieces, the Met also houses photographs of Aztec stone works, Greek sculpture, and Chinese calligraphy among other art related artifacts from around the world. And this month, the Met have decided to release digital images of all of that to the public, freely available to the public.

Visitors to the Met’s website can sort images by artist, medium, location, and era. All of the images are high resolution images with each of them being in excess of 10 megapixels, so they are ideal for printing and studying, which is what the Met intends its collection for. The images from the Met are intended for students, educators, researchers, and creators of non-commercial content. Those wanting to use one of the Met’s images for commercial reasons will still have to license them from the museum.

Museums have always been a bit skeptical to allow high resolution digital copies of their collection, citing fears of forgery and decrease in revenue. The Smithsonian has more than 1.2 million images, film and audio clips available online, but many are posted at low resolution to discourage commercial use. But with efforts like the Google Art Project, the museums are now releasing their own high res version to fight back low resolution knock offs. Whatever may be the case, now is a wonderful time to get those digital version of the art that you always loved and perhaps apply it as your desktop wallpaper or even your apartment wallpaper.

Via: The Verge
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Fedora revives transparent gnome-terminals

Background transparency, which was removed after GNOME 3.6 release on Fedora 2 years back is enabled once again. There were both requests from users and workarounds to make transparency work again. On popular demand, the feature is back on Fedora 20 and GNOME 3.12 COPR. Rawhide will also have it soon.

In his blog update Debarshi Ray points out that this downstream patch from Fedora has been rejected by the upstream gnome-terminal maintainer. So non-Fedora users may need to request corresponding distribution maintainer to include it.

To have this feature on Fedora 20, update the gnome-terminal package. You can set the transparency from the Profile Preferences, Colors tab. Also note that this feature reveals a bug in the Adwaita theme – the background of the menubar is not drawn when transparency is on. However, this should get fixed soon.


GNOME 3.12 receives second update

The GNOME Desktop Environment (DE) has received its second maintenance update (3.12.2). Frederic Peters, a GNOME developer, announced the second update of the GNOME 3.12 stable branch a few hours ago. The update mainly focuses on consistency and security of included packages and apps. Besides the recent fix of the Airplane Mode in GNOME shell, there are many minor fixes, improvements and language translations included in the update.

Apps being updated include Empathy, Eye of GNOME, Epiphany, GNOME Shell, GTK+, Mutter, Nautilus, Tracker, Totem, Evolution, Glade, GNOME Maps, Orca, Polari, Tali, Seahorse and more.

The next major GNOME release will be 3.13.2 and is due on May 28th. Its first developer version was already released on April 30th. The GNOME 3.12.2 sources can be found here.

Chrome OS

Google Chrome 36 Dev comes with many changes

The 36.x development branch of Google Chrome which uses the Blink layout engine has received another update ready for testing by users. The latest Dev channel build version is 36.0.1976.2.

There are some interesting chnages in this version:

– Precise memory info in layout tests enabled
– Opening socket through symlink target when connecting to a running instance to fix problems with launching new tabs in existing instance if user data path is long
– Allow PDF to be run in incognito mode
– UI fixes for the delete account button in the new avatar bubble
– Some CSS tweaks
– Added the missing generated docs for NaCl
– ServiceWorker support in EmbeddedWorkerDevToolsManager added
– Removed the redundant code and related test file for DesktopWindowTreeHostWin focus save and restore
– Couple of changes for Valgrind
– A GPU handle leak suppressed in DrMemory
– Remove non-drawing SolidColorLayer for Android
– Second version of credentials passing API added
– Disable compositing for GPU rasterization hints
– Correct support for videos with YUVJ420P color format
– Make GPU rasterization flag per page instead of per layer
– Stop dismissing bubble views when window bounds change
– Dom distiller changes from gwt codebase pulled in
– 8bpp screens support in X11
– Couple of changes around Pepper
– and many more…

This version changes the flow of how the Profile deletion is processed. A checkbox is now added on the stop-sync dialog to provide the users with a choice on whether to delete all their Profile data.

Find the full list of changes in the changelog. If interested in testing it out, download the correct Dev channel package for your system here.

Remember that development in the Dev channel precedes both Stable and Beta and sometimes big features added in the Dev channel may not be stable enough for production.

Google Glass 2

Samsung may announce Glass in September, powered by Tizen?

Samsung is one of those companies who want to be in as many markets possible. Samsung comprises over 80 companies and has a very diversified business profile. Electronics is no exception; the company is in almost all possible segment and actually ‘dominates’ the smartphone market with its Android offering. There is one segment where the company doesn’t have any presense – smart glass.

According to reports Samsung may announce it’s own Glass Gear at IFA 2014 which will be organised in September. The report also say that it would be powered by Tizen instead of Google’s Android Wear OS. Why would Samsung choose it’s own Tizen over a fully baked Android Wear is uncertain.

Well, it’s only a rumor at the moment so let’s wait for the watch.


New Gmail in the works?

Leaked screenshots suggest that a revamped web-based Gmail UI is in the works. It’s not certain it will ever go public but the new Gmail seems to bear no relation to the current UI. It sports the company’s new minimal UI design and goes hand in hand with the leaked images of the new Gmail mobile client.

It’s a brand new look & feel and resembles Google+ UI. A ton of additions seem to made their way into the UI, from minimal design changes to brand new features. The familiar side bar on the left has been replaced with a fly-in panel and the Compose button (along with – what seems to be new – “reminders” button) moved to the bottom right. This area will also incorporate a kind of a to-do list as well as provide access to all unfinished messages. You can also snooze an email for a defined time period, and the familiar stars used to bring focus to a particular message seem to have been replaced with pins.

It all looks very promising, so let’s hope we will get to see at least some of these in our inbox soon.

Sources: The Verge,


Washington State files lawsuit against fraudulent Kickstarter campaign

In a recent announcement by the Washington State Office of the Attorney General has apparently filed a lawsuit against Kickstarter campaign for a game. This lawsuit against fraudulent Kickstarter campaign seems to be the first of its kind in America. In fact this is the first instance of a consumer protection lawsuit filed against crowd funding in America.

According to the lawsuit, Edward J. Polchlepek III (aka Ed Nash) of the company, Altius Management, has failed to make good on a successful Kickstarter campaign for Asylum Playing Cards. The said campaign had a Kickstarter goal of $15,000, which they exceeded with a closing funding of $25,146 back in October 2012. The Attorney General’s office alleges Polchlepek’s company had collected the money but never made good on their promise of delivering the cards or the other backer rewards that were promised by them during the campaign. Since some of the backers were residents of the state of Washington, legal team of the state were able to get involved. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson stated in a press release, “Consumers need to be aware that crowd funding is not without risk. “This lawsuit sends a clear message to people seeking the public’s money: Washington State will not tolerate crowd funding theft. The Attorney General’s Office will hold those accountable who don’t play by the rules.”

A Kickstarter representative had this to say when reached out by a representative of Geekwire for a comment, “Tens of thousands of incredible projects have been brought to life through Kickstarter. We want every backer to have an amazing experience, and we’re frustrated when they don’t. We hope this process brings resolution and clarity to the backers of this project.”

The outcome of this lawsuit will have serious repercussions as crowd funding always has the risk of being infested by scammers. But if the government is ready to get involved for the sake of the protection of the consumers, then this wonderful system can hope for a brighter future.

Source: Gamasutra

What is LiveCD or LiveUSB of Linux?

Linux-based distributions support live session which means you can run an entire operating system from the DVD or USB without installing anything on the hard drive. A user can use all programs which come pre-installed with the operating system, which may vary from one operating system to another. It’s a very neat way of testing Linux without formatting your hard drive. It’s also a safe way of doing sensitive work when you don’t want to leave any trace on the machine.


New HTC One Google Play Edition available for sale

The new HTC One which was announced yesterday is now available with stock Android from Google Play Store. These devices running stock Android are called Google Play Edition devices and they don’t come with the usual bloat-ware or custom UI pushed by the hardware companies.

The phone comes with 32GB internal storage, in addition to an SD-card slot, and 2GB of RAM. The device is available for $699 and will start shipping in 2-3 weeks. These are unlocked devices which get updates from Google faster as there is no OEM or carrier sitting in between to delay the OTA updates.

It’s for those who do want pure Android experience with great hardware as Google’s own Nexus hardware is often not top-notch.