Dropbox for Xbox!

This is what I love about Dropbox, it is everywhere! Now on Xbox!

Dropbox is now available on the Xbox One

Engadget – By: Nathan Ingraham – “Dropbox has long said it wants to be available on whichever platforms people use to get things done. That’s why it has done so much to integrate with Microsoft Office over the years, for example. But the latest place you’ll find Dropbox is nonetheless unexpected: The company just launched an app for the Xbox One.

Sure, the Xbox One is, at its core, a Windows 10 computer you hook up to your TV, but it’s still surprising to see a productivity app all about sharing your files show up there. However, Dropbox doesn’t think users will be collaborating on Office docs through their TVs. Dropbox has come up with a few features that make sense for the platform. ‘We wanted to solve an issue that we all have: making it easy to access and share your content from the biggest screen in your house,’ Dropbox staff engineer Rudy Huyn said in an email. ‘That meant giving users the ability to access files without the need to plug in an HDMI cord or connect to their laptop.’

Once logged in, you can upload screenshots and pictures taken with Kinect straight to your Dropbox. You can also stream any video files in your Dropbox to the Xbox One — something that’ll definitely be handy for those of us who have a large video library but no seamless way to play it on the big screen. You can also upload files from USB drives connected to the Xbox One or upload files from other universal Windows 10 apps you may be running on your console. And other applications (Dropbox specifically mentioned VLC) can see flies in your account and access them.

The rather unusual project was born at Dropbox’s annual hack week, when the entire company takes five days to build and show off a wide variety of projects. Some have nothing to do with actual shipping projects, but many others end up making their way into Dropbox in one way or another. ‘At this year’s event, one of our engineers decided to prototype the app, and demo’d it to other Dropboxers, showing how we can bring a new Dropbox user interface within Xbox that is optimized for TV screens and for gamepad navigation,’ Huyn said.

And it turns out this wasn’t just a random pet project but something users were asking for in Dropbox’s support channels and on social media. ‘Given what we heard from our users, we knew that there was demand for this app, and so we decided to make it available to everyone as a full-blown offering.’

As for the development process, the universal nature of Windows 10 made it fairly simple. ‘The simplicity of building this app is part of why we decided to transform the prototype into a real product,’ Huyn said. ‘A big reason that it was so easy to build is that Microsoft makes it easy to develop applications for Windows 10.’ But the Dropbox team still had to change a number of things to make this work, as the user interface naturally needs to be different when dealing with an Xbox controller and a TV 10 feet away. Specifically, Huyn noted that the difference in how TVs display colors compared to monitors necessitated a new, darker theme with more contrast ‘to make the app easier on our users’ eyes.’

There are benefits to having Dropbox on the Xbox One that should extend to app developers as well as your average console owner. ‘We heard from Xbox developers that they needed a file explorer on Xbox that allowed them to access their files for the cloud, because many of the apps that they were building were useless without having access to files,’ Huyn said. ‘Now developers can easily access files stored directly in Dropbox.’

Of course, Microsoft’s own OneDrive has been available on the Xbox One for some time now, but millions of people are using the service, so giving them an option to easily get their files on the Xbox is a smart move, even if it’ll likely be something of a niche app. If you want to give it a shot yourself, the app is live today in the Xbox Store.”

Dr. Bill.TV #413 – Video – “Open Source Projects and Surface Rumors!”

The Libreboot C201: an Open Source laptop, AsteroidOS: an Open Source OS for your smartwatch, OnlyOffice: a new, clean looking, Open Source Office Suite, GSotW: Winstep Nexus, Microsoft Surface Pro 5 rumors, Refracta Linux: a fast distro for old hardware.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Winstep Nexus


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Dr. Bill.TV #413 – Audio – “Open Source Projects and Surface Rumors!”

The Libreboot C201: an Open Source laptop, AsteroidOS: an Open Source OS for your smartwatch, OnlyOffice: a new, clean looking, Open Source Office Suite, GSotW: Winstep Nexus, Microsoft Surface Pro 5 rumors, Refracta Linux: a fast distro for old hardware.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

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Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Winstep Nexus


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Refracta Linux – Small and Fast!

Refracta LinuxCheck out Refracta Linux. It is a very small, and fast distro, that looks very interesting! If you want to revive old hardware, this may be your ticket!

OpenSource.com – David Both column

OpenSource.com – By: David Both – “There are hundreds of Linux distributions out there, many of which are created and live their short lives in relative obscurity. A few have long-term staying power, and that is usually because they have a decent combination of utility, stability, and a loyal following of users. As its release number suggests, Refracta 8.0 has those qualities needed for longevity.

Refracta is an interesting offspring of Devuan Jesse GNU+Linux, which is a systemd-free fork of Debian. Its forte is as a general use distribution for the so-called ‘average’ user, rather than as a specialized distro. It also works very well running as live media using Xfce, a resource conserving desktop.”

Refracta Web Site

From the Refracta web site: “Refracta is an operating system designed for home computer users. It provides a simple and familiar layout that most users will find very comfortable.

Refracta focuses on providing common applications and services that most users will need instead of trying to provide for more specialized uses. It provides a basic desktop with simple applications that are easy to use.

You do not need to install Refracta to try it out. You can run it entirely from the cd without making any changes to your current operating system. If you like it then you can install it in just a few minutes with a few clicks of the mouse.

The default install includes internet, graphic, multimedia, and office software along with various system tools and utilities. Hundreds more applications are available from a trusted source and can be quickly and easily installed.

Refracta also includes special tools – refractainstaller, refractasnapshot and refracta2usb – that allow you to customize your installation and create a live-CD or live-USB of your running system. These tools will work on most Debian or Devuan-based systems.

Refracta is based on Devuan GNU/Linux. Everything installed in Refracta is free and open-source software. You can download it, use it, copy it, and share it with friends. If you install any packages from non-free repositories, you may be asked to accept the appropriate license.”

Microsoft Surface Pro 5 Rumors

Microsoft SurfaceThe Surface 4 is pretty cool; it looks like the Surface 5 will be sweet!

Microsoft Surface Pro 5: The ‘Ultimate Mobile Computer’

Learnbonds – By Muhammad Nadeem – “Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is believed to be releasing the highly-anticipated Surface Pro 5 in the first quarter of 2017. The Redmond-based tech giant is reportedly delaying the launch due to several important components, including processors, are set to arrive in December and early 2017.

The software titan, which called the Surface Pro the ‘ultimate mobile computer,’ is planning to add the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 to the Surface Pro to turn it into a superb mobile computer. A report from The Verge suggests that Microsoft plans to enable the full Windows 10 operating system and all of its legacy apps to run on ARM-based processors. Compared to the x86 Intel chips every Windows laptop uses now, ARM processors offer a different set of benefits including better power efficiency and integrated cellular connectivity.

Previous reports suggested that the Surface Pro 5 will feature Intel’s next generation core processor, the Kaby Lake, which uses less power and improves performance. Microsoft is still quiet about the purported Surface Pro 5. We expect that the company will announce details about the laptop next month.

Microsoft Surface Pro 5 Rumors

The Surface Pro 5 is rumored to come with a 512 GB of internal storage. The 2-in-1 device will have 16 GB of RAM. It will use the Windows 10 Redstone 2 operating system.

Rumors suggest that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will release two versions featuring different display technology. The low-end model will provide full 2K support and the high-end version will offer 4K support.

The Surface Pro 5 will come with the new Surface Pen. It will feature a rechargeable battery with an ability to charge itself when attached to the tablet, according to the recent rumors.”

Geek Software of the Week: Winstep Nexus!

Winstep Nexus

Winstep says of it self that it is “The Advanced Docking System for Windows.” Check out this description from their web site:

“Wikipedia defines a dock as a user interface feature of a number of operating systems that typically provides a user with a way of launching and switching between applications.

The Winstep Nexus Dock is a FREE professional dock for Windows. With Nexus, your most frequently used applications are only a mouse click away – and Nexus turns working with your computer into a fun and exciting experience.

Nexus Ultimate is an enhanced version of the free-to-use Nexus dock which is available stand-alone or as a component of Winstep Xtreme (a single easy-to-install package featuring all of Winstep’s popular desktop enhancement products for Windows).”

OnlyOffice: A New Open Source Office Suite!

OnlyOfficeThis is a new, simple, clean, yet Open Source Office Suite. Check it out!

Microsoft Office, Google Docs beware: This open-source startup is after your users

“Seven and a half years ago, a group of Latvian and Russian multimedia developers decided to invest their money in an ambitious project to create a new office platform.

Initially it was called TeamLab and focused on project-management and team-collaboration tools.

ZDNet – By: Kalev Aasmae – ‘Simultaneously, we were working on online document editors. Then we decided to merge these projects, and our solution received a warm welcome from the internet community, so we felt we’d chosen the right path,’ founder Lev Bannov tells ZDNet.

‘Later, we dared to open up the source code of the project and rebrand it OnlyOffice.’

He argues that although there are several big players in the market, there is still a lot of room for newcomers with bright ideas.

‘What do you have, apart from Microsoft Office and Google Docs? Open-source LibreOffice, which is a derivative of OpenOffice, and some proprietary office suites based on it, such as WPS Office, SoftMaker FreeOffice, Hancom Office. In a way, Apple’s Pages application is based on OpenOffice, too,’ he says.

But he believes that each of these options has its own disadvantages.

‘Microsoft Office has a poor online version, which supports only 10 percent of its desktop functionality, and that could be done intentionally to support the desktop Microsoft Office. Google Docs can’t be deployed on a private network, LibreOffice and all its derivatives have problems with Microsoft document formats,’ Bannov argues.

‘Moreover, not all of them have online and mobile versions, and collaboration tools.’

Bannov contrasts those points with OnlyOffice having cloud and server versions and desktop and mobile apps on the same code base.

‘Our editors also show the highest compatibility with Microsoft Office formats,’ he says.

As of now, OnlyOffice has more than two million users worldwide, with most of them using the free products. However, it is being used by one Oracle department in UK, and also by Unisys.

The office suite also has a foot in the door of many educational institutions. Clients include the University of Brunswick, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, University of Paris-Sud, and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology. Public organizations use OnlyOffice as well. For example, the French Red Cross and Germany’s Social Democratic Party.

While the company recently opened an office in Dallas, its headquarters are in Latvian capital Riga, with most of the developers working in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 250 miles east of Moscow. Altogether, 80 people are employed in the OnlyOffice team.

Because most of the users are not paying customers, the project is not yet profitable.

‘We’re still putting a lot of money into software engineering, but we’ve entered the stage of forming our business processes and developing a partner network. In a year we expect a massive expanding of our user base and a significant increase in our revenue,’ Bannov says.

He is convinced that OnlyOffice can become ‘the perfect open-source office suite for everyone’. But for it to succeed and change the market situation, he knows it will have to change the mindset of potential customers, many of whom are happy with Microsoft’s products and have never really thought about testing an alternative.

‘Our plan is to continue working on our document editors as we want them to be ideal, like a Swiss watch, so our to-do list is long. We’ll also have to put effort into convincing people that there are other office suites, apart from Microsoft Office,’ he says.

‘That was one of the reasons why we chose an open-source model. We want be open, want people to trust us, want to overcome that barrier they have in mind, those strong beliefs that there’s nothing but Microsoft Office, that nothing better could be created. We won’t change our mind about open source.’

Bannov says he ultimately sees OnlyOffice becoming a firm that provides consulting, technical support and remote managed services to companies using its open-source products.”

AsteroidOS: Open Source OS for Your Watch!

AsteroidOS is an open source project that wants to save your smartwatch from obsolescence

Android Police – By: Michael Crider – “Android was once the darling of the open source community, though you’d be forgiven for forgetting that – these days its commercial elements seem to be all that make the news. One developer is hoping that community can save the smartwatch, or at the very least, breathe a little new life into existing designs. Florent Revest, a French computer science student, released the 1.0 alpha version of AsteroidOS today. It’s ready to run on multiple Android Wear devices: the original LG G Watch, the Watch Urbane, the Asus ZenWatch 2, and the Sony Smartwatch 3.

AsteroidOSAsteroidOS is fully open source, based on Linux and designed for (relatively) easy porting to existing smartwatch hardware. Revest has been working on it for more than a year, aided by a collection of contributions from the GitHub and XDA communities. At the moment AsteroidOS is functional, but basic – tools are limited to most of the things you’d find in a ‘dumb’ phone, like an alarm clock, calculator, weather app, and a Settings menu. A custom Android app allows syncing notifications and music control via Bluetooth with any Android phone.

Prospective users can download and install AsteroidOS on their watches after unlocking them and flashing the custom ROM via ADB and fastboot, in a process that should be fairly familiar to anyone who’s used CyanogenMod or similar ROMs. But don’t be too hasty with your fastboot OEM unlock just yet: only the original G Watch has full support at the moment. The other smartwatches with semi-official ports of version 1.0 all lack Bluetooth support, which is kind of a killer for a functional smartwatch.

Still, it’s good to see that someone still believes in smartwatches. Pebble has just been swallowed up by Fitbit to join the more focused ranks of ‘activity trackers,’ and Motorola seems to be throwing in the towel on its Moto 360 series. Samsung seems committed to at least another year or two of wearable development, but the other big manufacturers are suspiciously quiet on that front. We’re still waiting to see if Google’s self-branded Wear devices will materialize or not.

So with the specter of gloom hanging over smartwatches in general, can a single passion project inject some life back into the category? Maybe, maybe not. But at the very least it will give owners something to do with hardware that seems to be rapidly fading into mobile history.”

The Libreboot Notebook Debuts!

Libreboot NotebookThe Libreboot project gives us the first fully open boot BIOS, now they are developing a sweet Open Source notebook!

The Libreboot C201 from Minifree is really really really ridiculously open source

Techcrunch – By: John Biggs – “Open source laptops — ones not running any commercial software whatsoever — have been the holy grail for free software fans for years. Now, with the introduction of libreboot, a truly open source boot firmware, the dream is close to fruition.

The $730 laptop is a bog standard piece of hardware but it contains only open source software. The OS, Debian, is completely open source; to avoid closed software the company has added an Atheros Wi-Fi dongle with open source drivers rather than use the built-in Wi-Fi chip.

Open source is not just fun, it’s also wildly important. While Linux on the desktop is still years away, Debian is already fully featured and fun to use and the Libreboot project goes the last mile by ensuring everything is open source from boot time to shutdown.

The laptop itself simply runs a quad-core 1.8GHz ARM CPU (Rockchip RK3288) and has 4GB RAM with 16GB built-in eMMC storage. You can add more storage with a microSD card. It has an 11-inch screen and a three-year warranty.

Not many of us actively hunt down open source laptops, but it’s nice to know that when we want to wrest our freedom back from the corporate computing giants we have some real options.”

Dr. Bill.TV #412 – Video – “Cut That Cord!”

AT&T announces DirecTV Now launch with a $35 Plan, and $5 HBO and Cinemax, an $89 Linux Laptop! Plex Media Server now connects to your Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, GSotW: ScreenToGIF! Chrome slowly ditching Flash by defaulting to HTML5 on websites.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

ScreenToGIF


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