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Project Chess spied on you long before Microsoft acquired Skype

Long before Edward Snowden told us about a govt privacy-abusing spy operation called PRISM or Prism, Skype had its own collaborative project with the govt that was code-named Project Chess. That was going on while Skype executives were denying any such activity was taken place. According to a New York Times report, Skype began looking at “the legal and technical […]

Free Software alternatives to help you outwit PRISM

Just because your activities are being monitored by the powers that be does not mean that you should throw up your arms in the air and give up. Yes, complete privacy is almost impossible to achieve in the age of bits and bytes, but there are things you can do to minimize how much of your privacy you give up. […]

Selling Palm to HP was a waste

webOS and the mobile devices that it powered made Palm (remember that company) a media darling. webOS was going to be another successful mobile Linux distribution (after Android). But it was all a dream that never came true. Palm was sold to HP. At some point, HP abandoned webOS, deciding that it was better to sell Android devices. So webOS […]

Got a PRISM and Boundless Informant problem? Whisper and Tor can help

Got a PRISM and Boundless Informant problem? Whisper and Tor can help

PRISM and Boundless Informant. Don’t you just love names like that. They have a nice ring to them. But do not be fooled. Those are bad for your privacy and, with time, even worse for a true democracy. But thank heavens for Free Software and those making them available. With much gratitude to them, here are two Free Software services […]

BackTrack 5 or Kali Linux 1.0

BackTrack 5 or Kali Linux 1.0

I get many searches related to BackTrack 5 that makes me wonder if netizens responsible for those searches are aware that the distribution known as BackTrack is old news. If you didn’t and you got here by searching for “backtrack 5,” this article will direct you to the right distribution to use. BackTrack is/was a specialty Linux distribution for security […]

ROSA Desktop Fresh R1: For advanced users, but even better for new users

ROSA Desktop Fresh R1: For advanced users, but even better for new users

Summary: This article is about ROSA Desktop Fresh R1, a “new” Linux desktop edition from ROSA Laboratory, a Linux software provider based in Moscow, Russia. I’m always on the search for desktop distributions that make computing very easy for new users. Whether such distributions use GNOME or KDE or any other desktop environment, if they are new user-friendly, I love […]

How to customize Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

How to customize Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

Summary: How to customize Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon by disabling the Hot corner and adding the Expo, Scale and Workspace switcher applets to the panel. Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon, ships with the latest version of the Cinnamon desktop environment. Like everything else, some users like Cinnamon, some others think its interface is outdated. I say, use anything you like. It’s […]

APC Paper nabs Computex ‘s Design and Innovation Award

APC Paper nabs Computex ‘s Design and Innovation Award

Taiwan External Trade Council (TAITRA) and the International Forum Design Hannover (iF) have awarded the APC Paper the Design and Innovation Award at Computex 2013, which kicks off tomorrow and ends June 8. APC Paper is one of two Neo-ITX form-factor computers announced by VIA Technologies in January. The other is the APC Rock, which is a plain motherboard (it […]

Disk encryption: This is why you should always use it

Disk encryption is one of those physical security features that determine whether I install a Linux distribution on any computer I use for serious computing. Whether it’s a server, notebook, ultrabook or any other type of *book, if it’s not a crash-and-burn unit, the hard disk drive (HDD) has to be encrypted. And no, it’s not because I have anything […]

tboot in Fedora 19: Don’t worry, it’s just a bug

tboot in Fedora 19: Don’t worry, it’s just a bug

After installing Fedora 19 beta and rebooting my test computer, I noticed that one of the options available in GRUB’s menu is tboot 1.7.0. Not sure what it’s for, I selected it and hit the Enter key. On the next GRUB screen, is the option to boot into Fedora GNU/Linux, with tboot 1.7.0. But what does tboot do? Well, one […]

3D printer software in Fedora 19

3D printer software in Fedora 19

Now that 3D printing is a hot topic in the DIY community, and those tend to favor free software principles, it’s only fair that 3D printer software should be readily available in your distribution’s repository. And actually, some of the most popular are Free Software. In the just-released Fedora 19 beta, three of those are available for installation. All you […]

Linux Mint 15 MATE and Cinnamon screen shots

Linux Mint 15 MATE and Cinnamon screen shots

The latest edition of Linux Mint was released late yesterday. Code-named Olivia, Linux Mint 15 brings the latest editions of the MATE and Cinnamon desktop environments. This article features some screen shots from test installation of both flavors in a virtual environment. First from Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon test installation. The login screen is beautiful. Not only that, you can […]

Robert Kugler and Paypal’s bug bounty eligibility requirements

Robert Kugler and Paypal’s bug bounty eligibility requirements

For professional security researchers, participating in bug bounty programs is one means of earning money on the side. It is also the easiest means of building up street-cred. And many companies take advantage of their skills, recognizing that its either they find and fix bugs in their products first or the bad guys do and exploit them. For Black Hats, […]

2 productivity-boosting extensions for GNOME 3

2 productivity-boosting extensions for GNOME 3

Even with the latest version of GNOME 3 looking a whole lot better than earlier versions, I still find that it is not suitable for my daily desktop computing. But thanks to a couple of extensions, I can customize my GNOME 3 desktop to suite me, in a manner that makes for a more productive time in front of the […]

Fedora 19 – Schrödinger’s Cat – preview

Fedora 19 – Schrödinger’s Cat – preview

Now that the first beta edition of what will become Fedora 19 has been released, and almost all the accepted features are at 100% completion, I downloaded the installation images for the released desktop environments and ran them in a virtual environment just to see what they have to offer. True to every Fedora release, most of the new features […]

Install HY-D-V1 desktop on Ubuntu 13.04

Install HY-D-V1 desktop on Ubuntu 13.04

HY-D-V1 Desktop is a new desktop interface built atop GNOME 3 using a combination of Webkit, JavaScript, Python and HTML. It is the desktop environment on Hybryde Fusion, a Linux desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. See some screen shots here. Hybryde Fusion is the work of Larrieu Olivier, a French software developer. This tutorial shows how to install HY-D-V1 […]

Hybryde Fusion: A very unique Linux distribution

Hybryde Fusion: A very unique Linux distribution

Hybryde Fusion is a new desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. Unlike most other Ubuntu-based distributions, it brings a few interesting features to the table. Hybryde Fusion 13.04 is the distribution’s first release and the developer, Larrieu Olivier, is based in France. I’m still playing with a test installation, so this is not a review, but a presentation of a […]

NVIDIA SHIELD: Android game console, with Tegra 4 inside

NVIDIA SHIELD: Android game console, with Tegra 4 inside

It’s been in beta mode since it was announced back in January, but now, the NVIDIA SHIELD is ready for prime time. Or at least, you can pre-order it now. NVIDIA SHIELD is a portable gaming device powered by the Tegra 4 processor, the same processor you’ll find inside HP’s SlateBook and a few other mobile computing devices. The Tegra […]

SlateBook x2: Tegra 4-powered Android hybrid

SlateBook x2: Tegra 4-powered Android hybrid

The Tegra 4-powered SlateBook x2 running Android Jelly Bean (4.2.2) is the latest split-personality portable computer from HP. Detailed hardware specs have not be made available, but we do know that if will have an IPS panel with a screen resolution of 1920×1200, USB and HDMI ports. That’s about all we know about the hardware, but I’m sure it will […]

ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE alpha preview

ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE alpha preview

ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE is the end-user edition of ROSA Desktop that uses the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. This is not the same as the LXDE edition which was released in June 2012. That one is the enterprise edition, which ships with Debian-style stable Linux kernel and software, and uses the Marathon code name. (See ROSA 2012 LXDE review .) […]