Rosa Can’t Wait to get on Your Laptop or Desktop

 General, Linux  Comments Off on Rosa Can’t Wait to get on Your Laptop or Desktop
Dec 052015

Folks, there’s a new, pretty hooker Rosa in town and the lady can’t wait to establish herself on your lap-top or desk-top. 🙂

Sound the bugle, uncork the champagne and lay out the red carpet for the newly arrived Rosa a.k.a. Linux Mint 17.3.

Linux Mint 17.3 Available

Not content with offering an excellent, rock-solid distribution in Linux Mint 17.2 a.k.a Rafaela for free, Linux Mint developers have now put out an upgrade with a Christmas bag full of goodies.

Something is seriously wrong with Linux Mint’s Project Manager Clement Lefebvre and his team! I can’t handle so much goodness!

The new release, Linux Mint 17.3 a.k.a Rosa, is available in both Cinnamon and Mate editions.

Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa Released

Linux Mint 17.3 is a long term support release, which means we freeloaders will be supported and receive security updates until 2019.

Built on the Ubuntu 14.04 package base, Linux Mint ‘Rosa’ Cinnamon edition features Linux kernel 3.19, Cinnamon 2.8 and MDM 2.0 display manager.

Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Linux Mint 17.3 are available.

Several Enhancements

Here are the key enhancements in Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon edition:

* Improved Update Manager that performs more checks about the mirrors than before
* More robust Driver Manager that refreshes the cache before looking for drivers, loads faster and detects drivers in the background
* Improvements to the Software Sources tool to make it faster and more reliable
* Cinnamon 2.8 featuring several usability improvements
* Better applets
* Upgrades to Xorg, Mesa and Linux kernel
* LibreOffice upgraded to version 5
* OpenVPN support, Orca screen reader and Nemo preview installed by default

You can download Linux Mint 17.3 (Cinnamon or Mate editions) at the Linux Mint web site.

Go ahead, get Rosa on your laptop or desktop and take her for a spin.

I bet you’ll be more than pleased.

Upgrade to Rosa

Linux Mint 17, 17.1 or 17.2 users wanting to upgrade to Linux Mint 17.3 should wait for a few days until a new version of Update Manager is released.

A big Thank You to Clem and the Linux Mint team!

How Many Webs are There?

 General  Comments Off on How Many Webs are There?
Oct 012015

When most of us think of the Internet, our thoughts turn to search engines like Google, news sites like New York Times, social networks like Facebook or Twitter, tech blogs like Techcrunch, shopping sites like Amazon, free e-mail like gmail and our employers’ web sites.

But those’re just the most visible parts of the Internet, the proverbial tip of the Web iceberg.

Like a lot of things man made, the Internet too is multi-layered.

When you start peeling the surface layer of the Internet, there’s stuff you would be amazed to know exists.

Broadly speaking, the Web comprises of three layers or in other words the Internet has three Webs:

1. Surface Web – Who amongst us is not familiar with the Surface Web? This visible layer constitutes stuff like news, shopping, social networks, e-mail, business, and government web sites. Although for the most part in the legal domain, the Surface Web also occasionally hosts criminal enterprises or ones that sit on the edge between legal and illegal. The overwhelming majority of users of the Surface Web rely on regular browsers like Firefox, Safari or Chrome and simple mail clients like Outlook, Evolution and Thunderbird.

2. Deep Web – This section of the Internet consists of stuff not easily accessibly by the lay public. Stuff like governmental databases of federal and state tax filings, SSN benefits, pension records accessible only by a few select people, online banking, medical records, and paywall content. What distinguishes Deep Web from the Surface Web is access restriction via strict policies. While some analysts include the third layer, Dark Web, as a subset of the Deep Web, I set it apart. In my view, the Deep Web operates for the most part in the legal domain circumscribed by laws and regulations but the Dark Web is a free for all.

3. Dark Web – Think of Dark Web aka Dark Net as the Mariana Trench of the Internet, the deep, murky parts. Players in this Wild West section of the web include drug peddlers, Mafia, terrorists, government intelligence agencies, pedophiles, gun peddlers, hackers for hire, smugglers, counterfeiters, illegal marketplaces and a grab bag of criminals. A key aspect of the Dark Web is its secretive, hidden and anonymous nature. Dark Web is the shadowy, dark alley equivalents of the Web. Dark Web sites are not indexed by conventional search engines, have esoteric URLs or accessible only by IPs and frequently change their web site address. Except for the hopeless oligophrenic idiots, users of the Dark Web rely on multiple layers of cloaking like Tor and VPNs to navigate the Dark Web.

 Posted by at 10:34 pm

How to Restore from a QuiteRSS Backup

 General  Comments Off on How to Restore from a QuiteRSS Backup
Aug 042015

QuiteRSS BackupQuiteRSS is an excellent open source cross-platform RSS news feed reader that I have been using for about a year now with mucho satisfaction.

I’ve installed it on Linux Mint and CentOS. The reader works fine on Linux and I can’t recollect it ever crashing on me.

The free reader works on Windows and Mac OS X too but I have yet to try them on those platforms.

Like any good IT user, every month or so I make a backup of QuiteRSS (Via File –> Create Backup on the menu bar) from inside the program just in case I need it later.

Restoring from QuiteRSS Backup

Recently I wanted a copy of my carefully picked QuiteRSS feeds on a CentOS 7 system. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 2:28 pm

VirtualBox Matures into 5.0 with Improved Security

 General  Comments Off on VirtualBox Matures into 5.0 with Improved Security
Jul 102015

Where to Download VirtualBox 5.0

Oracle’s cross-platform virtualization software VirtualBox has hit release 5 with enhanced security and usability features.

Designed to run on standard x86 desktop and laptop computers, VirtualBox lets developers and other users run multiple operating systems in secure containers without the overhead of using a full server environment.

For instance, if you have VirtualBox on a Windows 7 laptop then you can install Fedora or any other supported guest OS in a secure container.

Enhancements in Virtualbox 5.0

* Disk Image Encryption – Data can be encrypted on virtual hard disk images during runtime using AES algorithm with up to 256 bit data encryption keys (DEK). This feature enables data to remain secure and encrypted at all times, whether the virtual machine is sitting unused on a developer’s machine or server, or actively in use.

* Bi-Directional Drag and Drop Support for Windows – On all host platforms, Windows, Linux and Oracle Solaris guests now support “drag and drop” of content between the host and the guest. An extremely handy feature, the drag and drop feature allows copying or opening of files and directories between the host and the guest.

* Support for USB 3.0 Devices – Guest operating systems can now directly recognize USB 3.0 devices and operate at full 3.0 speeds. Guest OS can be configured to support USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0.

* Improved CPU Utilization: Performance boost is obtained by exposing a broader set of CPU instructions to the guest OS, enabling applications to make use of latest hardware instruction sets.

* Paravirtualization Support for Windows and Linux Guests – Improves guest OS performance by leveraging built-in virtualization support on operating systems like Oracle Linux 7 and Windows 7.

* GUI improvements – Allow hotplugging support for SATA disks, direct access to storage media in the virtual machine selector and VM guest-content scaling support (including 3D acceleration).

* New Guest OS – Support for additional guest OS such as Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2 and new Linux platforms like Fedora 22.

Download Virtualbox 5.0 here.

 Posted by at 9:30 am

Firefox Reader View – Another Nail in Content Producers Coffin

 General  Comments Off on Firefox Reader View – Another Nail in Content Producers Coffin
Jun 072015

Firefox Reader ViewContent producers are in the throes of death.

Be it the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A.Times or any major news publication, they’re all in dire straits.

Today it’s mostly middlemen (platforms) like Facebook, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing (Microsoft) and Google who leech on others’ content and make money.

Endless Woes

There’s just no end to the train of woes besetting content producers, big or small, these days.

A few days back, Firefox browser delivered a devastating punch to content producers.

The latest update to Firefox (version 38.0.5) has introduced a Reader View feature that lets readers strip all ads from the news story they’re reading and consume the news in a so-called “distraction-free mode.” Continue reading »

 Posted by at 3:34 am

Newspapers Make Pact with Devil

 General  Comments Off on Newspapers Make Pact with Devil
May 132015

Newspapers Make Pact with Devil
In an unmistakable sign of desperation, the newspaper industry has made a Faustian pact with the Devil.

Struggling to make money in an Internet era when readers crave more news but stubbornly refuse to pay for it, major news organizations including The New York Times and Washington Post are floundering with declining subscribers to the print edition and revenues and profits in free fall.

In the present era, content is valuable only as long as it’s free.

Newspapers Jump into Bed with Facebook

Utter Insanity

Now under a cockamamie scheme that Facebook has cooked up called Instant Articles, a bunch of newspapers have agreed to publish some of their news stories on the social networking site. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:16 pm