Axon Logic Haptic Tablet Unveiled; Runs Mac OS X, Windows and Linux

Axon Logic has unveiled the new Haptic, a 10.1 inch tablet which can run any Darwin based OS — which includes the Mac OS X and some open source OSes like OpenDarwin and PureDarwin. It can also run Windows and Linux and has some decent hardware specs.

Axon Logic Haptic Specifications

1.6 GHz Atom N270
10.1 inch LED backlit LCD display, 1024 x 600 pixels
Resistive touchscreen with stylus
2 GB RAM
320 GB HDD
1.3 MP webcam
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
3G CDMA SIM slot
Built in Speakers
3 USB slots, Mic, Ethernet, VGA ports, Card reader
3000 mAh removable battery
Bluetooth

Axon Logic Haptic Tablet
The specifications are very similar to the current breed of netbooks; except that the Haptic has a touchscreen display and no keyboard.

Also, the Axon Haptic is priced quite high, at about $800 which makes me doubt whether it will find many takers. I, myself, would rather buy the iPad, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab or the Notion Ink Adam, all of which are priced much lower.

Head over to the official webpage of Axon Logic for more details.  Also check out Crunchgear’s post for more details.

Linux Kernel 2.6.35 gets Google Network Technology for Faster Packet Transmission

The latest release of the Linux kernel 2.6.35 has brought significant changes to the kernel. Released on Sunday this week, the kernel claims to have significant improvements along the improvement in behavior of packets and over network throughput.

The new technologies borrowed from Google are RFS and RPS. These help in modifying the behavior of packets in a network. RPS spreads a process into all cores and RFS searches for the ideal core for performing jobs. RSP stands for receive packet steering and RFS for receive flow steering. As an evidence of increased performance, Joab Jackson at Networkworld has written,

The site cited a benchmark test showing how an eight-core Intel CPU-based server, with an Intel e1000e network adapter, doubled the number of networking-based transactions-per-second (tps) it could execute with RPS and RFS in place, from 104,000 tps (at about 30 percent CPU usage), to 303,000 tps (and 61 percent CPU usage).

This is good news compared to the earlier development of Linux. This move will popularize builds based on this new kernel.

Low Cost Tablet Unveiled by Indian Govt, Priced at $30

$30 Indian Tablet UnveiledThe Indian Tablet space is certainly booming. Soon after the launch of the OlivePad 3G Android tablet, we have news of another Indian tablet which will be launched soon.

The Indian government has unveiled a new low cost tablet which will be priced around Rs. 1500 ($30). Unlike the earlier $10 laptop which turned out to be a USB drive, this seems to be real.

This is real, tangible and we will take it forward. The price of the device is expected to be around $35 (Rs. 1,500), gradually dropping down to $20 and ultimately $10 per piece,said Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal.

The tablet will have a touchscreen display and a built in keyboard with 2 GB RAM, Wi-Fi and USB connectivity. It will run on a custom Linux based OS and will run Open Office. It will also have an internet browser, PDF reader, video conferencing and media player applications.

It was built by a group of students and professors from IISc Bangalore, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, IIT Bombay and VIT Vellore in collaboration with the HRD ministry.

Source: The Hindu

Dell offers a confusing choice between Windows and Ubuntu

Dell is known to have offered both Windows and Ubuntu on its laptops for quite some time. This page at Dell tells you how you should choose between Windows and Ubuntu and the details on the page are quite shady.

To start with, the first few lines say,

WHICH OPERATING SYSTEM SHOULD I CHOOSE ?

UBUNTU is not a Microsoft Windows operating system – and is not compatible with Microsoft Office programs – so it is important you make the right choice:

How do you make the right choice? Does that mean you make the right choice by choosing Microsoft Windows, which is compatible with Microsoft Office programs?

Here are the top three reasons to go for Windows:

Choose WINDOWS if:

  • You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc.) and want to continue using them
  • You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word-processing etc.
  • You are new to using computers

Seriously, should Windows users always go for Windows? How does that make sense? Ubuntu has OpenOffice.org and Songbird. I accept that they are not as feature rich as their paid counterparts, but they work just fine!

As far as new programs for mail and word processing are concerned, Thunderbird and OpenOffice are quite similar to Outlook and MS Word! Finally, let us do some math here. There are two kinds of people here, one who are new to computers and the second kind who are using them already. The first and the last points want a larger part of these two kinds to be stuck with Windows forever!

Having fun so far? You have not seen the better part. Here are the reasons to use Ubuntu:

Choose UBUNTU if:

  • You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS
  • You are interested in open source programming

I do plan to use Windows and Ubuntu both and yes, half of the people I know who use Ubuntu have setup a dual boot. Usersmay or may not be interested in Open Source programming. Linux is not just for programmers! It is not a programing language. It is an Operating System.

Please do not confuse Dell, if you cannot convince. Have a look at the page here.

Peppermint Ice – A Cloud Focussed Linux Distro

The team behind the Linux distro, Peppermint OS, has come up with another OS called Peppermint Ice. Peppermint Ice is not an update to Peppermint OS; it is another version of Peppermint OS with greater focus on the cloud.

Peppermint OS itself was released only two months ago. It is a fork of Lubuntu and is extremely light. It actually started as an experiment to combine the desktop computing with cloud applications.

With Peppermint Ice, they are aiming to extend the usage of cloud applications than what was done in Peppermint OS. Peppermint Ice will have a Site Specific Browser, called Ice. Ice has been developed by Kendall Weaver, the creator of Peppermint OS, as a means to launch web applications and cloud applications (Software As A Service). Peppermint Ice will also have the Chromium browser as the default browser. They want to take the reliance of Peppermint Ice on the cloud to such an extent that they are considering dropping printer and scanner support in  favor  of Google Cloud Print.

This is what Kendall Weaver said to Distrowatch about Peppermint Ice:

In the near future we’ll be releasing Peppermint Ice.   It will feature Chromium as the default browser and will likely be even more cloud focused as we’ll likely drop printer and scanner support for it and replace more of the default applications with either smaller ones or cloud based alternatives. Once we launch Peppermint Ice we will be working towards bringing integration with Google Cloud Print as the next logical step in development for Ice and all other Peppermint versions. Essentially, we were finding a large group of people who were experimenting with the combo of Peppermint and Chromium and getting great results. We listened to these skilled users of ours on the forum, picked their brains a little, and now we can offer Peppermint Ice as a crowd sourced product.

Peppermint Ice is available for download here -> Download Peppermint Ice.

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Damn Vulnerable Linux: Educational Security Tools

Damn Vulnerable Linux is a security distro, which can be an excellent learning tool. The distro includes older version of popular software like Apache web server, MySQL, PHP and others. The objective to create such a distro is to let users try out known hacks and vulnerabilities on these technologies and hone their skills.

The distro is explained as,

DVL is a live CD available as a 1,8 GB ISO. It contains older, easily breakable versions of Apache, MySQL, PHP, and FTP and SSH daemons, as well as several tools available to help you compile, debug, and break applications running on these services, including GCC, GDB, NASM, strace, ELF Shell, DDD, LDasm, LIDa, and more.

DVL is made by people with significant black hat backgrounds, incorporating the community of ReverseEngineering.net and Crackmes.de. It contains a huge amount of lessons, including lesson descriptions and solutions if the level has been solved by a community member at Crackmes.de.

Apparently the distro has been made vulnerable to attacks and can be used to teach thread hijacking, buffer overflow, SQL injection and other forms of exploits.

The distro is sized at 1.8 GB and is available as a zip file. Head over to the Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) page to read more and download the distro.

Wine 1.2 Officially Released

For those of you who still miss the Windows applications in Linux, there is good news.

After some delay, the stable version of Wine 1.2 has finally been released. This the first major Wine update in two years, and with 3000 bug fixes and 23,000 changes from the  previous  stable release, it is indeed a major release.

Here are some of the more important  improvements/new features in Wine 1.2:

  • Support for 64-bit applications.
  • New icons based on Tango for better integration with the Unix look.
  • Applications Control Panel to manage installed applications.
  • Subpixel font rendering is now supported. This will make texts look better.
  • Digital playback of audio CDs is supported.
  • Many new OpenGL extensions are now supported.

You can view the release note with the list of changes here.

Unfortunately it is not available for Ubuntu yet, but if you want to compile from the source, here is the link to it.

CentOS Is Now The Most Popular Linux Distro For Web Servers

CentOS is a Red Hat based free operating system which enjoys widespread use among servers. It does not have the recognition of Ubuntu, Fedora etc. since it focuses entirely on servers not on desktops.

According to a report from W3 Techs, CentOS is now the most popular linux distro used in web servers. It has overtaken Debian which is now at second place. According to their statistics, CentOS is used 30% of the linux based web servers.

As you can see, CentOS has been gaining popularity quite rapidly. Ubuntu is also enjoying a little increase in server deployment. There is very little change for Debian, Gentoo and SUSE. However, Red Hat and Fedora are having a decline in popularity.

W3 Techs also published details of which distros lost out to CentOS and by how much. According to their statistics, CentOS is gaining primarily from Red Hat and Fedora. While 5.03% of the servers which are using CentOS now was running on Red Hat and 1.53% of the CentOS users were using Fedora.

Another  interesting thing is that CentOS is not as popular in large websites as compared to smaller websites. While 9.7% of the top 100,000 websites uses CentOS, only 6% of the top 1000 use it.

We cannot say how accurate these statistics are, but yes CentOS has been gaining popularity in server  deployment  recently.

FamilyShield Blocks Phishing, Malware and Adult Websites

family-shield-icon A few weeks ago, a good friend of our family posted a question to me in Facebook.

How can I block adult content on my kid’s computer?

Fortunately, I already knew about several methods, but I wanted to give them something free and easy to use. I pointed them to the free OpenDNS service.

Why OpenDNS?

There’s no software to download and it’s always up to date with the latest information on what websites need to be blocked. It also works on Windows, Mac, Linux or almost any operating system.

To use the free OpenDNS Basic service, you will have to register an email address to be able to change the settings that control what types of web content you wish to block. However, OpenDNS is now offering   a new service, called FamilyShield, which doesn’t require registration and is even easier to set up.

What does FamilyShield block?

• Adult websites that are unsuitable for kids
• Proxy and anonymizer sites commonly used by savvy kids to bypass traditional Web filters
• Phishing sites that aim to trick you into handing over personal or financial information
• Some virus-spreading malware websites

How does FamilyShield work?

To tell you how it works, I’m going to use one of the 650+ free wallpapers from VladStudio.

Image: How the Internet Works by VladStudio:

how-the-internet-works

When you are using FamilyShield or any other OpenDNS service, you are telling your PC to use OpenDNS as your default DNS server. Do you see the owl in the third frame of the picture? The DNS server (the owl) tells your computer the real address (IP address) of all the websites that your computer tries to access.

OpenDNS is a smart owl. If you ask it for the IP address of a website that contains something bad, OpenDNS won’t give you the address and you won’t be able to access the bad website. If you set up FamilyShield on your home network router, all the devices in your home are protected from the bad stuff out there.

Below, I’ll show you the typical FamilyShield setup for protecting your home.

1. Sign in with an email address or skip it by clicking the link labeled continue. They don’t require your email address.

family-shield-1

2. Choose to set up FamilyShield on a single PC or on your home network (router).

family-shield-2

3. If you choose router, you can find specific instructions for the most popular router models.

family-shield-3

4. Below you can see the instructions for a Linksys router.

family-shield-4

5. Once you have the router set up, you can test to see if FamilyShield is working by using the Test your new settingslink at the top of the instruction page.

family-shield-5

That’s it. No software needed and your PC or your home network is protected. Your kids and you will be much safer using the FamilyShield from OpenDNS.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I can’t tell enough people about this awesome free service. If you are reading this, you should tell all of your friends. It’s not a replacement for knowing what your kids are doing on the PC, but it’s an easy way to help protect them.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Spotify comes out with a Linux client

Spotify may not be available in most parts of the world, but that hasn’t prevented them from coming out with a Linux client. In a blog entry Spotify mentions:

A lot of our developers are using Linux, obviously they want to listen to music while they’re coding away and looking at the feedback we get it appears that they’re not the  only ones. So today we’re pretty happy to present a preview version of  Spotify for Linux.

Built by our brilliant developers during hack days and late nights, it shares most of the same features as our Windows and Mac OS X desktop applications.

While this is indeed good news for Linux users, it must be reminded that client is still in a preview version and is available only for Spotify Premium subscribers, as Spotify claims that they still haven’t figured how to reliably display ads. Also missing is support for playback of local files, as they are grappling with decoding issues. Still, I guess something’s better than nothing. Here’s hoping for an new, improved version to come out soon. And perhaps, for Spotify to be rolled outside of UK and certain parts of Europe.

Spotify is currently available as packaged for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 & Debian Squeeze, head over to the preview page to download it.