BrianFagioli writes: Some YouTube creators have become frustrated with Google — even making videos stating as much. The hashtag #youtubeisoverparty even trended on Twitter. Recently, PewDiePie — the king of YouTube — began leveraging Twitch for a new show. Seemingly trying to capitalize on YouTube's misfortune, Twitch — which is owned by Amazon — announces an all-new Affiliate Program. Who will be eligible to take advantage? The company says "non-partnered qualifying creators."
"At launch this month, Twitch will invite creators to join the program who fit the criteria, based on time spent streaming, viewership, and followers. The first monetization tool available to Affiliates is Cheering with Bits, to be followed by additional tools in the coming months. Cheering is a fun, interactive way for viewers to support creators and celebrate the moments they love with the community by using animated emotes called Bits directly in chat. The program has seen success in its current phase with over 1 billion Bits used to Cheer since launch," says Twitch.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, Microsoft announces a new Gmail experience for Windows 10. While only available for Windows Insiders as of today, it uses the same concept as the Outlook mobile app, but for the Mail & Calendar apps. Microsoft will provide you with an arguably improved experience as long as you are OK with storing all of your Gmail messages in Microsoft's cloud — yikes. What types of features will the new experience offer? Things such as tracking packages, getting updated on your favorite sports teams, and a focused inbox.
"To power these new features, we'll ask your permission to sync a copy of your email, calendar and contacts to the Microsoft Cloud. This will allow new features to light up, and changes to update back and forth with Gmail–such as creation, edit or deletion of emails, calendar events and contacts. But your experience in Gmail.com or apps from Google will not change in any way."
BrianFagioli writes: Unfortunately, it has been revealed that the Firefox web browser will no longer be compatible with some computers running a Linux-based operating system. You see, Mozilla has dropped support for certain Intel and AMD processors.Buried in the release notes for the all-new Firefox 53, Mozilla says, "Ended Firefox Linux support for processors older than Pentium 4 and AMD Opteron."
It is important to note that we are talking about some very old processors here, so many users won't be impacted. With that said, Linux-based operating systems are often popular for those with ancient hardware, so there certainly will be some computers that are affected. Luckily, these users can still run older versions of Firefox, including 52.1.0 ESR which will be supported until 2018.
BrianFagioli writes: G.SKILL is a respected RAM maker, and the company is constantly pushing the envelope. Today, it announces a new DDR4-4333MHz 16GB Memory Kit (2x8GB) — the first ever. While that alone is very cool, the company is bragging about what it accomplished with it — an overclock that hit 4500MHz using an Intel Core i5-7600K processor paired with an ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex motherboard.
Pricing and availability for this kit is unknown at this time. With that said, it will probably be quite expensive. What we do know, however, its that the insane overclock to 4500MHz is for real. This was achieved using timings of CL19-19-19-39 in dual channel, which resulted in read/write of 55/65GB/s and copy speed of 52GB/s.
BrianFagioli writes: Luckily, there are companies like System76 that sell computers pre-loaded with Linux-based operating systems (with no Windows key on the keyboard!). Its machines come with Ubuntu, but they can run any Linux distro, such as Fedora, like a champ. The company's newest offering, the all-new 'Galago Pro' laptop, looks drop-dead gorgeous. It delivers a thin and light notebook experience — like the MacBook Pro — but without sacrificing specifications or ports. It even has a HiDPI screen, backlit keyboard, and optional NVMe storage. Best of all? Pricing starts at $899!
Unlike the latest MacBook Pro which has older DDR3 and is limited to 16GB RAM, the new Galago Pro uses the newer DDR4 memory and can be configured up to 32GB. While Apple's offering has nothing but USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, the System76 machine has the ports that many professionals still desire, such as Ethernet, USB Type-A, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and an SD card port — no "dongle hell" here, folks! Don't worry, it has a USB-C port too.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, popular Linux distro OpenELEC reaches version 8.0 stable. This operating system leverages Kodi to provide a well-rounded media center experience. Not only are there images for PC, but for Raspberry Pi, and WeTek boxes too.
"OpenELEC 8.0 release contain a Kodi major version bump. If you are updating from OpenELEC 7.0 or earlier we strongly recommend you perform a full backup before performing a manual update. If you experience issues please perform a soft-reset to clear OpenELEC and Kodi settings," says Stephan Raue, OpenELEC.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, the company admits that it is throwing in the towel on Unity, as well as its vision for convergence with devices like phones and tablets. Starting with Ubuntu 18.04, the wonderful GNOME will once again become the default desktop environment!
"We are wrapping up an excellent quarter and an excellent year for the company, with performance in many teams and products that we can be proud of. As we head into the new fiscal year, it’s appropriate to reassess each of our initiatives. I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS," says Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, Sony unveils the G Series Professional SATA SSD. Designed for video content creators, it comes in two capacities — 960GB (SV-GS96) and 480GB (SV-GS48). It is meant to be connected directly to certain video cameras, and then connected to a PC. The company claims the drives can last for an impressive 10 years of regular use, and for added durability, the SATA connectors are rated for 3000 insertions and removals. This is apparently six time stronger than the typical SATA connector, which can be rather delicate, actually — I have cracked a few in my experience.
If you are interested in buying the Sony G Series Professional SATA SSD , you must be prepared to really open your wallet. The 480GB variant will cost $287, while the larger model is $539. This is quite expensive, and quite frankly, I am dubious that it is truly worth the premium. Not to mention, Sony is mum on the type of NAND memory (SLC, MLC, TLC) or controller that is being used. If you are willing to shell out the money, however, you can pick it up in May.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, Fedora 26 gets an Alpha release. While you might expect a pre-Beta release to be full of bugs and issues, that is absolutely not the case. I have been using the operating system all day today, and despite the "Alpha" tag, it is totally rock solid. I have yet to encounter a bug or issue. Of course, my experience won't necessarily be the same as yours. In other words, tread cautiously, and avoid installing this on a production machine.
What can you expect from the operating system? It comes with kernel 4.11.0-0.rc3, so you are very bleeding edge in that regard. Since Fedora is primarily a GNOME-focused distro, it should come as no surprise that it has version 3.24 of the desktop environment — awesome!
BrianFagioli writes: Today, Jon Gruber of Daring Fireball shares an interesting interview with Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, who drops a bombshell — the Mac Pro is getting a redesign! The company is even looking to release a new dedicated display — a good idea after the LG monitor fiasco.
Apple is surprisingly admitting failure — an out-of-character move for the iPhone maker — and will be going back to the drawing board with the desktop, as it has failed to keep the Mac Pro regularly updated. There is one big catch — it won't be released this year.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, the Google Wifi router gets a new tool to help owners better manage internet access. Called "Scheduled Pause," it literally lets you pause the internet for selected devices. In other words, it could make a tablet or other device inoperable during a certain time frame — like a bedtime. Here's the problem. What if there is an emergency, like say, a home invasion, and the child wants to use the tablet to get help? If the tragedy occurs while the internet is paused, it could be catastrophic.
Will this feature stop children from using the internet when they should be sleeping? Absolutely, but at what cost? We must remember that the internet is a communication platform — not just the web. It is potentially dangerous to make your child's communication devices inoperable during the night. There may be a situation when going on something like Facebook Messenger could literally save their life — do you really want to risk it?
BrianFagioli writes: Google is an essential member of the open source community. The search giant contributes some really great projects, offering code to be used many — it claims more than 2,000 such contributions! Heck, the company even hosts the annual Summer of Code program, where it pairs students with open source projects teams. In other words, Google is helping to get young folks excited about open source. Today, Google announces that it is launching an all-new website to focus on open source. It is not a general open source site, but a destination to learn more about the search-giant's relationship with it.
"Today, we're launching opensource.google.com, a new website for Google Open Source that ties together all of our initiatives with information on how we use, release, and support open source. This new site showcases the breadth and depth of our love for open source. It will contain the expected things: our programs, organizations we support, and a comprehensive list of open source projects we've released. But it also contains something unexpected: a look under the hood at how we 'do' open source," says Will Norris, Open Source Programs Office, Google.
BrianFagioli writes: The Sony PS4 Pro is a more powerful version version of the traditional PS4 game console. Besides having more horsepower, it can output 4K video. Sony's console only does UHD through streaming apps, such as Netflix. Unfortunately, it cannot play 4K Blu-ray discs — something Microsoft's Xbox One S can do. This is a hardware limitation, as Sony's offering does not have a compatible optical drive.
Today, Sony is enabling a new way to enjoy 4K video on the PS4 Pro. Thanks to a software update, the Media Player app can now play 4K mp4 files. While this is appreciated, the ability to play these files is probably more beneficial for movie pirates than honest consumers. After all, 4K studio films are not typically sold in mp4 file format. Of course, I suppose some folks are recording home movies in UHD — the PS4 Pro would be a great device for that.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, the Final Beta of Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus' becomes available for download. While it is never a good idea to run pre-release software on production machines, Canonical is claiming that it should be largely bug free at this point. In other words, if you understand the risks, it should be a fairly safe. Home users aside, this is a good opportunity for administrators to conduct testing prior to the official release next month.
"The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of the Ubuntu 17.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products. Codenamed 'Zesty Zapus', 17.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs," says Adam Conrad, Canonical.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, GNOME reaches version 3.24, code-named "Portland." While it looks great, it is hardly a monumental change. Moving from 3.22, we see some new features and applications, but on the UI front, there are improved icons too. In fact, they have doubled from 256×256px to 512×512px! Not only can these icons scale larger, but they are more vibrant and intricate too. Overall, there are many new aspects of GNOME to excite fans.
"Night Light is one of the new features being introduced in this release. This subtly changes the screen color according to the time of day, which can help to reduce sleeplessness if you use your computer at night. Another new feature that will make a lot of users happy is the incorporation of weather information into the notifications area. This shows a simple summary of the day’s weather, and links to the Weather application", says The GNOME Foundation