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Announcing the ‘end of may’ goal on his blog, Canonical’s Director of Ubuntu Engineering Rick Spencer argues that ‘progress accelerates when people are using, in addition to building, software’.
Adding that this ‘dog-fooding’ allows developers to ‘….really know how far there is between where you are, and a shippable state’.
To this end both Spencer’s team, and others within Canonical, will be aiming to ensure key task of the everyday phone experience will be working by the deadline.
So what kind of ‘useable state’ is being aimed for?
- Ability to make and receive calls and text messages
- Browse the internet via 3G & WiFi
- Ability to import, edit and add contacts
- Working proximity sensors for screen dimming
- Ability to update the phone without losing data
These key parts of the core phone experience will allow developers working on it, as well as those developing apps for it, to see better gauge priorities, feature needs, and so on.
While the end of May deadline is a soft goal (one that I’m fairly certain will be reached) Ubuntu Touch still won’t be quite ready for the prime time on user handsets.
But on that front you shouldn’t have too long to wait: Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon has recently said that Canonical are aiming to have a ’1.0 Ubuntu Touch platform …ready for October so it can then be delivered to customers for deployment on handsets in Q1/Q2 2014.’
With its new Silvermont architecture, it looks like Intel has finally leaped forward in mobile. But whether it can ward off ARM'S upcoming 64-bit ARMv8 processors is another story.
More than 60 Linux-related projects are currently listed on Kickstarter. Here's a small sampling of some particularly compelling examples.
There was a time when I, probably like many of you, would change my desktop theme more often than I’d change my socks.
Then Ubuntu went and did something awful: it delivered a default theme that was not only “good” but acceptable to virtually everyone’s tastes!
It wasn’t gaudy, or boring; not too dark, or too light. It was, and I appreciate it will sound sickly, very ‘Ubuntu’.
But in honour of addictions past it’s time for me to highlight some desktop themes again. And there is no better choice to start with than ZonColor – an all-in-one theme pack oozing options…ZonColor Themes
ZonColor by Zon Saja is a set of 16 themes (though not all can be used in Unity), 21 icon theme variants (mostly different coloured folders), and some matching wallpapers. This wide range of simple, well-made components allows you to mix-and-match different elements until you come up with something you like.
The GTK3 themes themselves cover a wide range of styles – from the Ambiance-like ‘Audience‘ and ‘ZonColor Hard‘ themes to the striking colours of ‘Birdycloud’ and ‘Zoncolor’.
Once you’ve chosen a theme you can set an icon set to match it. Again, these vary from the colourful and flat, to the glossy and shiny.
To install Zoncolor theme pack in Ubuntu you’ll first need to grab the latest release from its official homepage.
Once the Zoncolour archive has fully downloaded you’ll need to ‘unzip’ it. In Ubuntu this is as simple as right-clicking on the archive icon, and selecting ‘extract here’ from the menu that appears.
After extraction enter the folder and run the ‘install.sh’ file inside by double-clicking on it. If you don’t see a prompt appear you may need right click on the install.sh file, go to Properties > Permissions, and check the box next to ‘allow executing file as programme’.
Once you’ve launched the installer you’ll see this screen:
It’s up to you to choose whether you only want the theme, or whether you want the ‘zoncolour’ app installed too (the app allows you to apply customizations to each theme). I choose ‘Install themes only’.
Once the installer has done its bit, it’s over to you. To switch between/set themes/icons you’ll need to use a third-party app like Unity Tweak Tool.
Ubuntu 13.04 users can grab this straight from the Ubuntu Software Center:
Ubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 users will need to use an alternative tool from the Software Center, like Unsettings.
One thing I will note is that Unity (for me at least) has a quirk where, after applying a new theme, some elements won’t take effect until I’ve logged out and back in (it mostly affects menus and highlight colors). Bear this in mind if you find yourself looking at a blue theme with orange highlights ;)
The ambitious NuoDB database has received an update that lets it deal with .NET as the company looks to tempt Windows aficionados away from SQL Server.
The Humble Double Fine Bundle launched last night, offering a glut of games from indie developers Double Fine Productions.
For the next two weeks you can decide what you’re willing to stump up to get hold of their offerings, and choose where your donation goes (all to charity, all to developers, or split between both).
There are three new Linux debuts:
- Adventure game Stacking
- Adventure RPG Costume Quest
- Heavy metal adventure strategy game Brütal Legend (beat the average only)
Another title from Double Fine also makes a Bundle reappearance:
- Action platformer Psychonauts
And there are two extra payment tiers for big spenders:
- Pay more than $35 you’ll get early access to beta versions of crowd-funded game Broken Age
- Pay more than $70 and you get Broken Age, all the games, and a free t-shirt
The Humble folks tell me that all titles (presumably barring Broken Age since it’s not available yet) are available to redeem through the Ubuntu Software Center.
Though, to be frank, since any purchase over a $1 gets you a Steam key, I’d recommend going that route. Not only will this make the games be instantly available to install on other platforms/computers, but you get the added bonus of social interaction, news updates for titles, etc.
Tempted by this Double Fine dream? You know the drill, head over to humblebundle.com to drop some cash.Hat tip to Christian W.M.
Evidence from users in the real world shows that for large workloads, the mainframe offers power, security, administration licensing and management benefits – but, in an x86 world, many IT departments simply don’t consider running their Linux apps on anything but traditional servers.
Debian, the daddy to many a Linux distro including Ubuntu and Mint, has been updated for the first time in more than two years.
Intel has released details about its new Silvermont Atom processor microarchitecture, and — on paper, at least – it appears that Chipzilla has a mobile market winner on its hands.
KVM and open virtualization are being rapidly adopted as end users look for lower-cost, enterprise hypervisors. One the major use cases for KVM is to virtualize and consolidate Linux workloads, and the pre-integration of KVM in major Linux distributions makes it easy for Linux enterprise end users to adopt KVM. A special KVM End User Technical Summit is running during this year's Linux Foundation Enterprise End User Summit, with the aim of introducing Linux users to the benefits of KVM, describing the KVM technical roadmap, and discussing the deployment and management of KVM both on its own and in multi-hypervisor environments. Sponsored by IBM, and with support from members of the Open Virtualization Alliance, this track aims to bring together customers, vendors and developers for interactive discussions about the use of KVM in practice, barriers...
Supercomputer maker Cray had been hinting that it would deliver a new cut-down version of its "Cascade" XC30 system, and the machine is being unveiled on Tuesday at the Cray User Group meeting in Napa Valley, California.
At the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in April, the Xen Project announced that it was now a Collaborative Project of the Linux Foundation. But as people attended some of the Xen-related conference sessions, one question always seemed to be asked: “Why should I use Xen?”
After more than 20 years coining it, the Goliaths of the lucrative enterprise software world are about to meet their Davids: nimble rivals touting technology at a sensible price.
Reg columnist Verity Stob says she's uncovered the following string of eye-opening electronic missives between the International Space Station's crew members. First, some context:
Pick one of the following scenes: a torrent is taking an age to complete; a confirmation e-mail is in limbo; or you’re on hold to a woefully inept customer services department of a woefully inept company providing a woefully inept service.
Any sound familiar? They should do. Chances are you have, at some point, been at your desktop or near your laptop and experienced one of the above.
Contrary to our conditioned reflex to tut, sigh and drum fingers as a way to speed up waiting, the quickest way to pass the time is to distract yourself. Some doodle, some sing, some do the washing.
But me, I reach for one of the following University of Procrastination-approved boredom-busting games…Picsaw
Woof. Woof. Woof.
That’s the noise that my next-door-neighbour’s dog makes, day-in, day out. It’s hard to work through it sometimes, particularly if I’m already having a coffee-wobble.
But the little (and literal) puzzle game Picsaw often comes to the rescue of my clapped-out concentration. How?
When the barking ramps up (or I’m stuck on the phone listening to the melodic equivalent of dog food) I simply load up a blurry snap of Fido’s ill-focused snout (acquired using a combination of string, meaty cat chews, and a zoom lens) and reassemble him, bit by bit…
Plus, puzzles are apparently a great workout for your brain – honest!
For added difficulty try using an image with a non-definable pattern to it, like a photo of the sky, animal fur, or spaghetti O’s!
Tanglet is a single-player version of the popular word-game Boggle.
The goal is simple: try to find as many words as humanly possible by forming connections between adjacent letters shown on the the on-screen board.
Letters can be joined horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in any direction. As long as the letters are next to each other, and the word you’re spelling is a word is at least 3 letters in length, you’ll be scoring.
Tanglet has 7 different game modes, each with varying difficulty. It will also keep track of your stats as you play, so you’ll always be tempted to best yourself.
And nothing is more time-sappingly-worthy than beating yourself.
No gaming platform is worth its salt if it lacks a jewel-smashing, pattern-linking, time-enveloping game of join-the-bleedin’-coloured-things-to-score-some-satisfying-points.
Okay, I’m overdosing on hyperbole in this post, but Gweled does fill a popular gaming niche. A quick glance at the Top games on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Mac App Store, etc all show that jewel games are in hot demand.
Alongside the traditional gameplay (essentially: ‘keep playing until there are no possible moves left’) there are two extra modes:
- Timed Mode – Achieve the best score in a given time
- Endless Mode – Never-ending game that doesn’t log your score
What did the blanket say to the bed? I got you covered!
Did you laugh? No? Good. That means I can 100% guarantee you’ll get more fun out of this, the last item on our list: OMG! Words!
Our typing-game-with-a-twist from back yonder is simple to play: type the words on screen as fast – and correctly – as you can. The more words you ‘drop’ the soon it’ll be game is over!
All of the words that appear in the game are pulled from articles on the site.
But things aren’t overly easy. If you’re doing too well the visage of OMG! Ubuntu! editor Benjamin Humphrey will slide across the screen and scramble every word it touches.
But i’m on your side: my face will bandy across and unscramble every word it touches.
Short of a green bird icon dropping in (if you don’t get that reference, congrats on having avoiding our comment section!), OMG! Words! is a faithful distillation of our irreverence, colour scheme, and typos.
So if you want to combine fun with usefulness then OMG! Words! is a great way to practice your writing prowess. Not that it currently only works on Ubuntu 12.10 or lower.
Over to you: what are you favourite five-minute boredom-busting games?