November 30, 2014

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" released!

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Cinnamon has been released and is now available for download. The new version of the operating system features a major update for the desktop environment, along with a multitude of other upgrades.

The 17.1 update for the Linux Mint distro has been teased for a long time and the users will definitely enjoy it. There are actually a ton of modifications and improvements made to the system, so much so that you could call it 17.5 and it would still feel unjust.

Usually, this kind of point releases only deal with updated packages and very rarely a new feature is proposed. This is true for the Ubuntu base of the Linux Mint distro, but the team building this operating system has a different approach.

This particular flavor of the OS is powered by Cinnamon, which is a powerful desktop environment. Many of the changes made to the distro are actually related to options and functionalities for this software stack and that would explain the wealth of new features.

Linux Mint 17.1 features much better memory usage, a new zoom animation for the login process, improved theme selection and settings, new Background Settings, a new Slideshow applet, better privacy settings, an improved Update Manager, Nemo (file manager) changes, and a refined selection menu for kernel updates.

Head to the official Linux Mint website to download now.

[Source: Softpedia]

November 27, 2014

Steam Sale starts today through 2 December

Like clockwork, Valve launches a big holiday sale and 2014's has just begun. Top deals right now include Watch Dogs, Goat Simulator, and The Evil Within. With more sure to come.

If you're not familiar with how this works (or simply have enjoyed having money until now), you can check out Alan's guide to getting the most out of the Steam sale here. The sale will be going on through December 2nd, so don't feel the need to empty your bank account too early. There will likely be plenty more to come.

[Source: LifeHacker]

November 26, 2014

SwiftKey puts its themes packs on sale (50% off) for Black Friday

swiftkey sale

Popular keyboard replacement app SwiftKey is gearing up for the shopping season with a sweet deal on its themes packs.

The 5-theme packs are now available for $1.49 (down from $2.99), while the 10-theme Premier pack is available for $2.49. All of these packs are available in SwiftKey's online store:
  • Premier pack (10 themes)
  • Pink pack
  • Minimal pack
  • Hot punch
  • Cool punch
  • Accent pack
  • Material Design pack
Individual themes remain at their normal $0.99 price tag, but for just fifty cent extra there’s little reason not to opt for a pack of five.

The deal is open to users from around the world, for "a limited time," though it looks likely that it will go on at least until next Monday.

To buy themes or theme packs, visit the SwiftKey store from the SwiftKey app's settings menu.

[Source: Android Authority]

November 21, 2014

SwiftKey announced update to fix most of those performance issues

Swiftkey update

SwiftKey is considered among the best third party keyboards on Android (and iOS). Lately, however, there have been some performance issues that have left users wondering what went wrong. The developers have apparently figured it out because a huge update is rolling out today to fix pretty much all of the performance issues.

Here are the details of the update:
  • Keyboard appears 15-20% more quickly – This is meant to reduce the gap between when you click on a text box and the keyboard actually appears. Developers reportedly worked on improving the speed from a “cold load” and when the app is stored in cache to optimize the speeds.
  • Keyboard leaves the screen 20-30% more quickly – Traveling along that same line, the keyboard also exits more quickly.
  • Switching between fields is 15-50% faster – When doing things like sending messages, you sometimes send a message then quickly tap the field a second time to re-open the keyboard. This update promises that experience will be much faster.
  • Typing is 10-18% more responsive – The update promises that people who type very quickly should notice a much more responsive keyboard.
  • 18 new languages including Indian and Indo-Aryan languages.
There aren't any new features or themes and that’s okay because SwiftKey just released their Material Design keyboard theme pack not long ago. Of course, another way of looking at this is thinking of how fresh and quick SwiftKey is going to feel after this update and that might as well be a feature for those who have been frustrated with SwiftKey's recent performance.

The update should be rolling out now so keep your eye on the Google Play Store over the next couple of days. If you don't have SwiftKey and you want to give it another go, you can download it from the Google Play Store.

November 19, 2014

Ubuntu 15.04 Gets Tentative Release Date of April 23, 2015


The date, along with those of various other development milestones, is listed as part of a draft release schedule on the Ubuntu Wiki page for the ‘V’ update. As of writing all dates are subject to approval from the Ubuntu release team and are therefore not final.

Ubuntu’s previous spring release, 14.04 LTS, went live on April 17, 2014.

As with all releases post-13.04, Ubuntu proper only makes fleeting appearances in select milestone releases, specifically the ‘final beta’ and the ‘release candidate’ stages.

Ubuntu’s family of flavours, which may include Ubuntu MATE this cycle, take full advantage of the testing opportunities at hand.
  • Alpha 1 – December 18th (for flavours)
  • Alpha 2 – January 22nd (for flavours)
  • Feature Freeze — February 19th
  • Beta 1 – February 28th (for flavours)
  • UI Freeze — March 12th
  • Final Beta – March 26th
  • Kernel Freeze — April 9th
  • Release Candidate – April 16th
The final release of the Vivid Vervet in all its vivacious glory is pencilled in for release on:
  • Ubuntu 15.04 Final – April 23rd
[Source: OMG! Ubuntu!]

November 17, 2014

November 13, 2014

Google shows off watches, tablets, and phones in 4 new Android commericals


Google has released Scary Movie, Garage Band, Break Room, and A Slightly Longer Road Trip for your viewing pleasure. The new videos feature emphasis on Android Wear watches, the new Nexus 9 and other tablets, and certain camera features. We also get to see a combination of all of these products in the new “Road Trip” commercial. Check out the videos below!

Scary Movie

Garage Band

Break Room

Slightly Longer Road Trip

November 11, 2014

International Pocky Day!

I don't know how this "official" day came about, but it's International Pocky Day! So go on, rip open that box of Pocky and show your love for Pocky!! Sharing is caring! =D

November 8, 2014

Microsoft Office is now free to use on Android and iOS devices

Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and power point is available for free on Android and iOS devices. It means that you don’t require a subscription to Office 365 for using Microsoft Office.

In the other hand Microsoft has entered an agreement with Drop Box Company to integrate its cloud storage service into Office on mobiles, tablets and home computers.

Office accounts make for about a third of Microsoft’s annual revenue, according to the New York Times, so letting people access it for free is a big risk. Although Microsoft will continue to charge for access to Office on laptops and desktops and also some special features on mobile apps are only accessible to premium users. iOS version of Office is available from today and the Android version is available as a beta version and will get a full release in 2015.

[Source: N4GM]

November 5, 2014

Ubuntu 14.10 Personal Experience Review

This is my personal review of Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" and may/may not reflect real-world analysis and actual usage of the operating system.

To start off, Ubuntu 14.10 is by no means a large update. It doesn't even change the default wallpaper from 14.04. Underneath though, plenty of bugs have been squashed and some minor graphical layouts have been changes. Overall, Ubuntu 14.10 is still a solid platform; let me explain why.

I've been using Ubuntu Linux (on-and-off) since version 7.04 and I have seen many changes from the user interface to the solidity of the platform. Back in those days, it felt that you really needed to tread carefully since every small mistake may result in drastic consequences. Well, those days are rare now, and Canonical has done a great job in providing us a more friendly user experience than every before, functionality-wise. In regard to the user interface, it's changed quite a bit since the introduction of Unity and the changeover from GNOME2/3.

In my case though, I didn't really mind what kind of desktop environment they put in as long as it looked nice and functioned well. Unity provided that- and much more (for tweaking). And so, the first thing I did after installing the system was to configure my desktop to how I wanted it. Gone was the default wallpaper, and in were the custom wallpapers, GTK3 themes and custom desktop icons. Until I was happy, I wasn't letting a single thing escape my grasps.

And so after I customized my desktop, it was time to install updates and necessary software I needed (Google Chrome, FileZilla, GIMP, Steam, Deluge). This was done rather easily from Ubuntu's Software Centre. At first, it was throwing a fit and giving me 403 errors whilst trying to connect to the repository, but Google gave me an answer: change the software sources server location. Thank you, Google.

From my experience so far, I would say that every new version of Ubuntu is more better than the last. Why? Because of continued system updates that fixes bugs whilst introducing new features. Stability is somewhat questionable in some cases (mainly due to my extreme customisation), but for the average user, they shouldn't run into too many problems.

In the end, Ubuntu 14.10 is definitely worth a try and maybe you'll like it?

November 3, 2014

Cinnamon 2.4 out with new features!

New Wallpaper Slideshow FeatureThe Linux Mint team has announced an update for the Cinnamon desktop environment! The latest version of the user-friendly shell will be the centrepiece of Linux Mint 17.1, the first point release in the distro’s new LTS approach, due later this month.

Cinnamon 2.4 comes with a raft of welcome features, improvements and overall polish, such as reduced memory usage, new ‘Privacy’ and ‘Notifications’ settings and desktop wallpaper slideshows.

The official release notes highlight some of the bigger changes, including:
  • Cinnamon desktop starts with “zoom” animation
  • 30 memory leaks fixed as part of code review
  • ‘Super+e’ shortcut opens ‘Home’ folder
  • Desktop font can now be customised
  • Timeout in ‘Logout dialog’ has been removed
  • ‘Theme and Background’ settings redesigned
  • Background slideshow support (plus new panel applet controller)
  • ‘Notification and Privacy’ settings pane added
nemo file manager 24

The Nemo file manager also benefits from the following improvements:
  • Redesigned toolbar
  • ‘nemo-emblems‘ extension supports adding emblems to folders
  • Sidebar hover highlight effects
  • ‘Smarter dynamic bookmark section’ in sidebar
  • Folder colours can be quickly configured using nemo-folder-color-switcher (not yet released)
[Source: OMG! Ubuntu!]

November 2, 2014

Initial Thoughts of the Nexus 9

The Nexus 9 in all it's glory
Google unveiling it's Nexus 9 to much delight and applause. It was about time they released a larger sized tablet than the Nexus 7. I personally though it was going to be Nexus 8 as a 8-inch device (much like the iPad mini), but no, the Nexus 9 is here! Here is a quick run-down of what the nexus 9 features:
  • Android OS 5.0 Lollipop
  • 8.9in (2049x1536) IPS LCD screen
  • 2.3GHz nVidia Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core chip
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB storage
  • 8 MP (3264 x 2448 pixels) back camera, 1.6 MP front camera
  • 6700 mAh battery