Ubuntu Gnome Remix – The Latest “Flavor” of Ubuntu!

Gnome folks rejoice, Gnome is now officially an Ubuntu “flavor!” So, if you don’t like the Unity interface, drop it like a hot rock!

Ubuntu Linux gets a new official flavor

“Ubuntu fans may recall Ubuntu Gnome Remix, the unofficial flavor of the Linux distribution that was launched last fall for users not fond of the software’s default Unity desktop environment.

Following hard on the heels of the release of Ubuntu 12.10 ‘Quantal Quetzal,’ the new Gnome Remix version was created ‘to bring the best of Gnome to Ubuntu users,’ in the words of its developers.

Well, this week the new flavor was made an official part of the Ubuntu Linux family, giving it full access to infrastructure support, publicity, and other benefits from Canonical and the Ubuntu community.

‘There was strong demand’
‘We are pleased to announce that Ubuntu Gnome is now an official Ubuntu flavor,’ read the announcement on the Ubuntu mailing lists on Monday. ‘Our first release for 12.10 showed that there was a strong demand for a great Gnome experience on Ubuntu, and we are now working towards our second release based on Ubuntu 13.04,’ the developers added.

Not to be confused with the also-new ‘classic mode’ that aims to bring back the look and feel of the old, beloved Gnome 2, Ubuntu Gnome Remix aims instead to make the most of Gnome 3.6, which is part of the new, mobile-inspired branch of the desktop family.

Both Unity and Gnome 3 have been controversial additions to the Linux desktop world, inspiring the launch not just of the new Gnome classic mode but also brand-new contenders including the Mate and Cinnamon desktops and distributions including SolusOS and Fuduntu.

Daily builds are coming
In any case, the newly official and freshly renamed Ubuntu Gnome project will not participate in the expected release this week of the first beta version of Ubuntu 13.04, but it does plan to release images for the final beta at the end of the month, according to the announcement.

Meanwhile, daily image builds should be available within a few weeks, the developers said. Ubuntu Gnome 13.04 will also include Gnome 3.6, but Gnome 3.8 will be available from the Gnome3-team Personal Package Archive (PPA) repository.

The project is now included among the official flavors on the Ubuntu wiki, and a dedicated mailing list has been established for it.

To get a taste of this latest Ubuntu flavor for yourself, download Ubuntu Gnome Remix 12.10 from the project site. A page on the Ubuntu Wiki details the other ‘Recognized Flavors’ of the free and open source operating system.”

And Now, an IE10 Rant from Dr. Bill!

I was experimenting with Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 and discovered a few interesting things. I also checked, and I get the same behavior on IE 10 in Windows 8.

Using IE10, HTML5 and WebM video does not work for me if it is “Cloud sourced,” meaning, if the files are stored in Amazon S3 using Cloudfront, as the video on my site is stored. The files are referenced by a DNS CNAME such as: “io.drbill.io/dbtv-webm”, so a file such as “DrBillTV-281.webm”, would be:

The “actual” location is:

Now, when I say it “doesn’t work” I mean it isn’t “streamed” in the same way it is on any decent “normal” web browser, like Google Chrome, Opera, or Mozilla Firefox. Here is example code of what works in these two browsers – that is, the HTML5 code:
[sourcecode language=”wraplines”]
<video poster="http://io.drbill.io/dbtv-images/DrBillTV-281.png" controls width="350" height="196">
<source src="http://media.techpodcasts.com/drbilltv/http://io.drbill.io/dbtv-webm/DrBillTV-281.webm"/>
Your browser does not support the HTML5 video tag.
The “TechPodcasts” string is due to using the TPN stats for my video, I have tried it with that removed as well. No difference. Instead, I get a message, in IE10, that the video is from “An Invalid Source.” Keep in mind, this same code works in Google Chrome, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox.

I have also noticed that Blubrry PowerPress “Cloud sourced” video does not work in Internet Explorer 10 either… same error.

The bottom line is that, as I said in the last Dr. Bill.TV Netcast, IE10 is not supporting Cloud sourced video! This is just not acceptable! PLEASE use a real browser! Just venting!

Roku 3 Comes With New Features and a New Interface!

Roku 3You know I LOVE my Roku! This one may cause me me to “trade up”… but the new interface will be rolled out to older Roku units soon.

Review: Roku 3 offers more power, new interface

From TechHive:
“I didn’t think Roku had much to improve on from its last high-end model, the Roku 2 XS, which I’ve been using for the past year or so to access Amazon, Netflix, and scores of additional streaming media. But the Roku 3, which replaces the 2 XS as Roku’s top-of-the-line media streamer, proves me wrong.

Hardware changes
Some of the enhancements amount to gilding the lily. The 2 XS was already petite (in fact, the Roku 3 weighs a bit more) and reasonably responsive, so the subtle industrial-design tweaks (gently rounded contours) and processor upgrade didn’t really excite me—although the new unit does seem snappier.

The new support for 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, however, should improve multimedia quality for a lot of city dwellers who don’t have a wired home network. Previous models supported only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, which tends to be overcrowded in densely populated areas, resulting in freezing and stuttering as neighboring networks fight for the few available nonoverlapping channels. Wi-Fi on the 5GHz band has a lot more channels, so neighboring networks can usually find the unencumbered bandwidth required for smooth streaming media.

The remote now has a headphone jack with volume-control buttons for audio played through headphones. The jack is a great addition for insomniacs, who can now watch Roku content without waking up spouses and other family members.

Roku even throws in a set of earbuds in the same purple the company has used to accent all of its hardware. The quality of audio through the earbuds is surprisingly decent, and the volume control works as advertised. But you can use any headphones with a standard 1/8-inch plug, and the headphone support worked equally well on a third-party headphone set I tried.

One thing I’d rather have found in the box is an HDMI cable. Roku doesn’t give you one, and the Roku 3 has dispensed with support for analog video—the unit no longer has component or composite video outputs.

The remote, by the way, still has motion-sensing technology that you can use to play the games you purchase and download from the Roku Channel Store (which is where you also select content sources for your channel lineup). Roku helps you get started by including a freebie: Rovio’s Angry Birds Space (replacing the original Angry Birds on earlier models).

I was unable to test one additional hardware upgrade: support for 7.1-channel surround sound passthrough over HDMI (previous models topped out at 5.1 channels).

Like the 2 XS before it, the Roku 3 has 10/100Base-T ethernet for wired networking, a USB port for sideloading content, Bluetooth to communicate with the remote control, and a MicroSD slot for extra game/channel storage. The faster processor lets it play MKV H.264 files sideloaded via the USB port for the first time.

New interface
On the software side, Roku has introduced a major user interface overhaul that does away with the scrolling-strip arrangement in previous versions. In its place is a more Web-standard pane-oriented layout, with a left navigation bar for various menus and filters, and relevant functions or content icons in a larger right-hand pane. It’s easier to find what you’re looking for, without a lot of scrolling action.

You can also choose from a handful of themes for the UI’s design elements—wallpaper and icons, for example—as well as a screensaver. All of this succeeds in making the Roku 3 look more like a consumer electronics gadget than a network device. (Roku plans to bring the new UI to older models—namely the Roku LT, Roku HD [model 2500R], Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick—sometime in April.)

Bottom line
With 750-plus content channels and one of the easiest setups for any product, the Roku 3 maintains Roku’s position at the top of the media-streaming heap. It’s not innovative enough to warrant replacing the Roku 2 XS (unless you really want 5GHz support or the headphone jack), but it is a compelling offering for newcomers or people who own older models.”

205627_Roku 3 Powerfull

DropBox Desktop Adds Features

This is a pretty decent update to DropBox!

Dropbox Desktop Update Adds Drop-Down Menus

“Dropbox on Tuesday launched a new version of its desktop client for Mac and Windows with a refreshed look and feel.

The latest version, Dropbox 2.0, should give users more visability into activity on their account and faster access to files. There’s a new drop-down menu (left), which essentially serves as a news feed from which users can see what’s going on with their account. From the new Dropbox menu icon, users can see recently added or changed files, view and accept pending invitations and shared files from other users, and see the overall status of their Dropbox sync.

‘If someone shares a link with you, you can now get to it immediately — directly from the Dropbox menu,’ according to a Tuesday post on the Dropbox blog. ‘You’ll get notifications in real time as people share with you, and can see them later just by clicking the Dropbox icon.’

From the new Dropbox menu icon, users can also quickly share recently changed files with other users.

In addition, Dropbox mobile users will also now get notifications when someone has shared a folder with them, the company said. This feature is available on the latest versions of the Dropbox iOS and Android apps.

Meanwhile, the new desktop version can be downloaded directly from the Dropbox website.

Dropbox, founded in 2007, hit 100 million users this past November. The company also last year partnered with Vimeo to ease the video-uploading process, and added the ability to share stored files inside Facebook Groups.”

Google Reader We Barely Knew Ye!

Yep, Google has announced the end of Google Reader! Ouch!

Google Unplugs Reader, Sending Its Loyal Users Elsewhere

“On Wednesday evening, Google announced the imminent passing of Google Reader, age 7. Scheduled demise: July 1. According to its 2005 birth announcement, Reader was ‘a service we hope helps you spend more time reading what’s important to you.’ It was an RSS reader, basically a geeky way to get lots of news articles and blog posts from all manner of sources (remember: no Twitter back then), and organize it all conveniently. Though the service was never wildly popular, for a smattering of dedicated users it was essential.

Now those users are progressing through the Seven Stages of Internet Grief: denial, tweeting, anger, tweeting, bargaining, tweeting, and acceptance, or more precisely, figuring out a new way to get a satisfying news fix. Feedly, a popular news reader app for iOS, Android, and other platforms, has already said it will clone Google Reader and offer its users a new home.

I use Google Reader for two or three hours a day—it’s the official Google web app on my Mac when I’m at work or at home. During commutes I use Reeder, a third-party Google Reader app, on the iPhone. Mobile users could certainly shift to aggregators like Pulse or Flipboard, and indeed they are pretty and get the job done.

But serious RSS users aren’t into it for the luscious jpegged beauty. RSS feeds, taken straight, are a wall of text. That’s useful when you want to let news wash over you, to scan screenfuls of headlines without waiting for extraneous pictures to load. When I want to absorb a lot of information fast—which is to say, always— I don’t have time for Flipboard. I want exactly what Google will be taking away from me this summer.

Most people, if they’ve ever even heard of RSS, probably don’t use it as much as they used to, given the proliferation of social news sources like Facebook and Twitter. In this context, the end of Reader isn’t much of a surprise. (Reedly says as much on its announcement page.) Plus, Google’s been thinning its product portfolio for a while, as the company moves from a scattershot, invest-in-everything philosophy to a much more disciplined approach. Larry Page calls this putting ‘more wood behind fewer arrows.’

So, yes. Fine. This may make a certain kind of business sense for Google. But consider: Right now, the company is in the enviable position of having a suite of products that many users find indispensable — but not irreplaceable. There are other RSS readers, as well as other search engines, email programs, and productivity tools. Reminding your most loyal users that, in fact, you’re not the only game in town — oh, and it’s quite possible to switch — doesn’t seem quite as savvy.”

Dr. Bill.TV #281 – Video – “The Raspy Throat Edition!”

LibreOffice 4.0 ‘Getting Started Guide’, UltraDefrag 6.0 is out, MakerBot’s 3D ‘Digitizer’ – a first gen replicator? Google Chrome OS survives the Pwnium 3 Challenge! A demo of Spoon.Net, a Virtual Desktop System! Major browsers hacked during Pwn2Own!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

Spoon.Net – Virtual Desktop System

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio

Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/EQpS3HzkmRQ

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/61438645

Dr. Bill.TV #281 – Audio – “The Raspy Throat Edition!”

LibreOffice 4.0 ‘Getting Started Guide’, UltraDefrag 6.0 is out, MakerBot’s 3D ‘Digitizer’ – a first gen replicator? Google Chrome OS survives the Pwnium 3 Challenge! A demo of Spoon.Net, a Virtual Desktop System! Major browsers hacked during Pwn2Own!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

Spoon.Net – Virtual Desktop System

Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio

Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/EQpS3HzkmRQ

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/61438645

Pwn2Own Competition Pwns the Browser World!

So, the Chrome OS wasn’t hacked (as discussed in an earlier article posted here), but ALL the big browsers got pwned at “Pwn2Own!”

Fail: Chrome, Firefox, and IE all crack during hacking competition

“Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox all fell to the mercy of the hackers today. That is, in a controlled environment.

Security firms Vupen and MWR Labs were able to crack the browsers during a condoned bug-hunt today, with one company winning $100,000 for finding a huge hole.

The Pwn2Own competition is an event at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver. HP’s DVLabs created the competition as part of its Zero Day Initiative: an attempt to get more people to find and report bugs as opposed to exploiting them for personal gains. This year’s Pwn2Own competition turned up a number of interesting hacks, with three major browsers all falling: Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome.

Vupen, a security research firm based in France, cracked both Firefox and Internet Explorer. It roughly explained the attack in a tweet (warning: A lot of security vocabulary is incoming), ‘We’ve pwned Firefox using a use-after-free and a brand new technique to bypass ASLR/DEP on Win7 without the need of any ROP.’

The technique involves recalling memory that the browser had previously ‘freed,’ (user-after-free), after which they were able to mess with the technology that protects a computer system from letting bad code execute.

In Internet Explorer’s case, Vupen says it found two separate ‘zero-days,’ or previously unknown holes in a system, and used them to get inside a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. From there, the company was able grab hold of Windows 8.

The company explained, again, in a tweet, ‘We’ve pwned MS Surface Pro with two IE10 zero-days to achieve a full Windows 8 compromise with sandbox bypass.’

Lastly, U.K.-based security firm MWR Labs cracked Chrome and also gained full control of the operating system, this time Windows 7. It also ‘demonstrated a full sandbox bypass exploit.’ The company explained in a blog post that it found a zero-day in Chrome ‘running on a modern Windows-based laptop.’ It was able to exploit the vulnerability by performing a very similar attack to what took down Facebook, Microsoft, and a number of other well-known companies: It had the laptop visit a malicious website. From there the website probed Chrome and was able to get control of the area of the browser that executes code ‘in the context of the sandboxed renderer process,’ or the protective area that allows code to run, but restrict it from using any other part of the system but the CPU and memory.

The sandbox cannot, however, protect against any attacks against the kernel, or the root of the operating system, it exists in and that’s exactly what MWR took advantage of. It found a vulnerability in the kernel, exploited it, and gained full access to the Windows 7 system.


All of these browsers had been previously patched in preparation for the competition, showing just how much can be missed and how valuable these types of bug-finding events are. MWR won $100,000 as a result. Of course, both MWR and Vupen properly disclosed all the documentation of its findings to the appropriate browser security teams.”

Geek Website of the Week: Spoon.Net!


And, the GSotW as well! This is SO cool, that I did a demo for this week’s Dr. Bill.TV Show, it will be posted later today, check it out! This is VERY awesome! I gotta give them huge Geek Cred for this implementation. You can either sign up for the service from their web site, or, if you have a business, and want to host it on your own server, you can do that as well! Did I mention… Awesome!

Spoon.Net – Virtual Desktop System

No more installs.

Apps launch inside pre-configured virtual machines with no changes to your desktop.

Spoon Console
Access the Spoon Console directly from your desktop by pressing Alt + Win.

Universal Search Engine
Instantly find apps and files anywhere, even across multiple devices.

Browser Plugin
Spoon works through a small browser plugin. No administrative privileges are required.

Hundreds of Apps Online
Use hundreds of free applications online, or easily virtualize your own applications.

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