Senin, 21 April 2014

TechSource: What Tech Lovers Can (and Cannot) Expect from Microsoft's New CEO

TechSource: What Tech Lovers Can (and Cannot) Expect from Microsoft's New CEO


What Tech Lovers Can (and Cannot) Expect from Microsoft's New CEO

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 01:35 AM PDT

Microsoft appointed Satya Nadella as their new CEO recently. He succeeded Steve Ballmer to become the third CEO of the company. Being one of the biggest companies in the world, Microsoft chose an internal candidate to undertake the huge responsibility. They wanted someone who knew the company very well and also someone who values Microsoft's vision for the future. And, Satya Nadella was exactly the man they were looking for.

The 46-year-old is an electrical engineer who studied in India before continuing his education in the United States. Working for Microsoft since 1992, Satya took on many roles in the company, his recent one being that of executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise group. Many people credit Microsoft's success in the cloud to him. Considered as a "safe choice" by some critics while a deserving successor by many in the tech industry, Satya has a huge responsibility given the company's steady decline.

We, as tech lovers, have a lot of expectations from him. Despite the FOSS community's torn relationship with Redmond, Ballmer's departure was seen as a positive development by many Linux lovers. That's why, we've compiled a list of things we can -- and cannot -- expect from the new CEO.


Things to Expect from Satya Nadella

1. More Focus on Cloud Computing

Satya is a cloud-first guy. His cloud expertise is known even outside of Microsoft. It's highly unlikely that he'll lose focus on one of his (and the company's) core competencies. Expect more cloud-based services rolling out from Redmond in the coming years. Also, we can hope to see many improvements in existing cloud-based services Microsoft provides.

2. New Challenges

Microsoft will explore new markets under Satya's leadership. In fact, Satya Nadella recently announced that Microsoft is trying to build an economy smartphone for emerging markets. In other words, expect some out-of-the box thinking as well as action from Satya Nadella.

3. More Mistakes

Yep, you heard that right. Mistakes are a part of taking brave challenges. Satya Nadella is known to be a lifelong learner who constantly buys books and signs up for online courses. What does this mean for Microsoft? It means that he will go for the bold ventures very few people have thought. For the first few years of his tenure, he'd probably be doing a lot of trial and error and then learning from them.

4. More Innovation

Microsoft is not well known for innovation. Many people in the tech world call them monopolistic copycats. Even the late Steve Jobs once remarked that Microsoft lacked taste. How well is that going to change? We don't know. But given Satya's liking for innovation, we might see some creative products come out of Redmond.

"Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation." -- Satya Nadella

5. Major Shuffle in Mobile Strategy

The CEO recently announced that he would be focusing more of his efforts on the mobile front. Microsoft is already developing a mobile phone for the developing market. Expect some major changes in Microsoft's mobile strategy. Satya might be able to breathe a new life into Microsoft's mobile business that has barely managed to get the attention its other products get. 


Things Not to Expect from Him

1. Microsoft Cozying up to Linux

Though there is a slight possibility of this happening, Microsoft is a company that is steadily going downhill. At this point, they can't afford to take any big risks that would hurt their market share. After all, Linux still is a Microsoft competitor, especially in the server market. We might see a version of Office for Ubuntu, but there is a very slight chance of that happening.

2. Microsoft becoming a role model for honest business

Despite how friendly and charming Satya seems in comparison to the brutal Ballmer, Microsoft still is Microsoft at its core. It's not a communist country run by a single leader that you'd expect a dramatic turnaround of core philosophies in just a couple of years. Microsoft still is, Microsoft at its core. It's a business and it will do anything it needs to do in order to keep its foothold in the marketspace.

3. Making Off-the-wall Comments

Ballmer made some pretty snarky comments during his tenure, going so far as to call Linux a cancer. He was known for his bad temper and his infamous chair-throwing tantrum. Compared to Ballmer, Satya seems to be a very positive and pragmatic guy. It's highly unlikely to see him badmouthing his competitors. 

4. Doing the "developers" Dance


Because only Ballmer can pull it off. Period.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Selasa, 15 April 2014

TechSource: How to Get Android Notifications on Your Desktop Browser (Chrome)

TechSource: How to Get Android Notifications on Your Desktop Browser (Chrome)


How to Get Android Notifications on Your Desktop Browser (Chrome)

Posted: 14 Apr 2014 05:53 PM PDT

If your work involves using the web browser a lot, then you know how irritating it is to have your smartphone breaking your workflow every now and then. What's even more annoying is that every time the phone beeps, you have to get up from your chair, find the phone, unlock it, slide down the notification panel and voila, it's a WhatsApp message from that annoying friend who keeps forwarding silly jokes. Damn!

We've all been there. We all wish that there were some ways you wouldn't have to get up from your chair every time your phone rings. We all wish that you could somehow keep your smartphone on silent while you work but still stay updated with what's important. We've all wished and guess what? It's coming true. The Play Store houses some fabulous apps that let you keep up with your Android notifications right from your web browser. So, if you are a Chrome user, use the following guide to get some peace of mind.


Method 1: Use Pushbullet

Pushbullet is a fabulous application that more than just mirrors your Android notifications. It's a full-fledged app that allows you to send files, links, images, and even to-do list from your phone to your desktop and back. Whatever notifications show up on your phone will also show up on your Chrome as desktop notifications. Here's how to use it:
Step 1:

To get Pushbullet working, first you have to do is install the Pushbullet application on your Android smartphone. Download HERE.


Step 2:

Then, install the Chrome extension. Download HERE.


Step 3:

Go to https://www.pushbullet.com and pair your devices. And voila! Your devices can now work hand in hand. Now sit back and relax as your smartphone notifications show up on your Chrome desktop.


Alternative Method: Use Krome

If you are looking for another way to achieve the same result, then Krome is your best bet. Krome is a paid application that uses Google's Cloud Messaging system to securely mirror your Android notifications to your Chrome browser. One of the cool things Krome does and Pushbullet doesn't is that it allows you to reply to SMSes right from the notification itself. This means that you click a notification and type the message below it. Cool! huh?

To start using Krome, install the following extension from the Webstore HERE:


Then, purchase and install the Android app from the Google Play Store HERE.


Once installed, follow the simple instructions to pair your smartphone with your browser. Though worth the price, it doesn't match up to the sheer number of features Pushbullet features. But again, if you're looking for an app that just mirrors your notifications and does it well, then by all means go for Krome.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Sabtu, 12 April 2014

TechSource: Best Alternative App Stores for Linux

TechSource: Best Alternative App Stores for Linux


Best Alternative App Stores for Linux

Posted: 11 Apr 2014 06:51 PM PDT

The concept of app stores, though popularized by Apple, followed by Android, has been around for a long time. In fact, Linuxians know that it was in the penguinian world of software that the concept of app store basically originated. A software housing a collection of apps stored in a convenient location was something Linux users have loved and still love.

Whether it is the iTunes app store or the Play Store by Google, budding developers get a huge exposure by publishing their apps in these arenas. Similarly, the relatively less popular Ubuntu Software Center is slowly becoming a melting pot for some of the best developers in the FOSS community. The app store has some of the most popular applications made by some talented developers.

While most of the applications from Ubuntu Software Center are free, some of them are reasonably priced and allow developers to fund their own coding efforts. Another thing that's fascinating about Ubuntu Software Center is that these young developers are now competing against bigwigs like Steam and Microsoft (Skype), to make sure that their applications get the props they deserve. While some people might call it unjust, one cannot help but call it a healthy competition which will propel the growth of the Linux community. Overall, the Ubuntu Software Center has set a great foundation for a better open-source future.

That said, if you are an Ubuntu user, you probably must have gotten tired of using Ubuntu Software Center already. It's clean, sleek, and does what it says on the tin; however, as a FOSS enthusiast you might be looking for something different. If that's the case, then we have for you a list of alternative app stores for Linux that will help you get the software you need instantly. 


Deepin Software Center

Deepin Software Center is a fabulous-looking application that comes as a part of the distro Linux Deepin. Not only is a good alternative to Ubuntu Software Center, it's also a great replacement for it since you'll find a few features that triumph the good old USC. Once installed, you get to choose from as many as 2,600 applications. You can install them by one click and finding what you want is never easier. The interface is clean, and to be frank, a notch better than Ubuntu Software Center. What's more, you can even skin the app store to your liking by choosing from any of the cool themes. What makes Deepin so interesting is that it has a multi-threaded download back end that makes downloads really fast. Also, the apps are regularly updated based on their ratings, making it a great app store to browse apps on.

To install Deepin Software Center, type in or paste the following commands in your terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/deepin-sc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install deepin-software-center



Apper

Apper is the default KDE Package manager that serves as a good alternative to traditional app stores. Written in C++, Apper is designed to make things easier for users who want to look for software and not packages. Apart from listing all the latest software, it also allows users to remove old software and upgrade existing one. If you are on KDE, you already know about this app store. If not, it's a great simple app manager you can use even if you're not a KDE lover. To install Apper, type in or paste the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install apper



App Grid

App Grid is a solid alternative to the Ubuntu Software Center. Readily available to install on any distro, App Grid lets you browse apps in a neat, grid-like layout. Though far from perfect, the layout is much lighter and faster than USC's slightly bloated UI, thus making it a great alternative. It is faster to start, has very less memory usage, and is written in Python 3. Though proprietary, App Grid gives you a great set of features and lightness that you should have gotten from USC. It's definitely worth a try.

To install App Grid, type in or paste the following commands in the terminal:
 
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:appgrid/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install appgrid



Selasa, 08 April 2014

TechSource: How to Turn your Android Device into a Dynamic Photo Frame

TechSource: How to Turn your Android Device into a Dynamic Photo Frame


How to Turn your Android Device into a Dynamic Photo Frame

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 03:40 AM PDT

Photographs serve as our best memories. Through good times and some great times, photographs stay with us etching our emotions deftly onto a little piece of paper. Over the years, photographs have gone a major transformation. Few years ago, taking a photo meant that you had some memory that you thought would be worth sharing. You took a picture and then kept it with you for the rest of your life. These days, taking a picture is all about getting the maximum likes on Facebook or Instagram. Oh, and there's the bizarre trend of "selfies" that well, isn't that cool as you might think.

For those who take photographs for keeping their memories alive, however, Facebook isn't a big obsession. For them, photographs are worthy to be cherished and even showcased on objects like photo frame. However, you won't get your hands on photo frames everywhere, especially if you travel a lot. In that case, allow us to share with you some ways on turning your Android smartphone or tablet into a dynamic photo frame:


Dayframe

If you are looking for a photo frame application that just works, then Dayframe is all you need. It has all the features you're looking for and you probably won't be needing any other apps on the list. Dayframe, apart from being a photo frame is also a social-connected photo application. The way the application works is very simple. Instead of you having to select photos from your collection or worse upload them, Dayframe automatically pulls your pictures from your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, 500px, Dropbox, and Google Plus accounts.

Now, there are two ways to use Dayframe. Either you can use it to display your personal photos or you can use it to show beautiful pictures from some great photographers. 


If you choose to go with the first option, the app will ask you to mention the sources from which Dayframe should pull your pictures. For example Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. To avoid chaos, once you select multiple sources, you can set filters so that only the photos you want will be displayed. So, say you want photos of your last vacation to be displayed. All you have to do is set a keyword so that Dayframe pulls only the specific photos related to that tag.

The second way to go with using this application is to let the application pull photos from a wide variety of curated sources. The sources are curated according to your own taste thus making it a worthwhile experience. Finally, the best feature is that of the timer. The timer lets you display pictures only in a specific time slot. So, if you are not at home, don't worry, you can set Dayframe to work in a such a way that when you come back home, you'll have a set of beautiful pictures displayed in your living room.


Photo Slides

Photo Slides is another great app for turning your device into a dynamic photo frame. It pulls photos from your Gallery intelligently and displays your pictures as a nice slideshow. What's more interesting is that this app also supports G-sensor. This means that the photo frame will adjust itself according to the way you orient your smartphone or tablet. What's more, the application also comes with 8 different sliding effects thus letting you give your photo frames a slightly funky touch.



Android Daydream

Jelly Bean came with an often-overlooked feature called Daydream. Basically Daydream allows you to display a screensaver every time the phone is docked. What's great about Daydream is that it also lets you turn your phone into a nice-looking photo frame. Simply go to Settings then click on Display. From there, select Daydream. The feature allows you to set your own photos as a screensaver. In this way, you can turn your phone into a dynamic photo frame. The only caveat is that the phone needs to be docked or charging. That won't be a big issue with most people since they'd use the photo frame whilst docked so that they won't have to worry about battery drainage. The only caveat with this method is that your phone needs to have Jelly Bean installed.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Sabtu, 05 April 2014

TechSource: Best Bitcoin Applications for Linux

TechSource: Best Bitcoin Applications for Linux


Best Bitcoin Applications for Linux

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 08:51 PM PDT

Bitcoin is, if many industry experts are to be believed, the future of currency. Everyone from expert coders to entrepreneurs is banking on it thus making it one of the hottest topics. We already discussed a lot about bitcoins in our earlier article and we believe that it does have a potential to cause a huge disruption in the market. For our FOSS supporters out there, bitcoin means a great deal. The reason for this is that this digital currency is entirely open-source. Which means, if Bitcoin ever reaches public adoption, it will be the most popular use of open-source technology.

If you are a Linux user, managing your bitcoins and even mining them is a piece of cake. The penguinian platform offers some great tools for bitcoins enthusiasts to manage their digital currency.


CGMiner

CGMiner is a multi-thread multi-pool miner for bitcoins. It works from the command line and can help you mine bitcoins in a way that makes maximum usage of your resources. The commands are pretty simple and straightforward thus making it easy even for non programmers (with a little bit of help, of course) to get started with bitcoins. What makes CGMiner popular is the fact that it gives you complete control over the mining process. If you are new to Bitcoins and want to get started with mining, a fantastic guide that teaches you how to mine Bitcoins on a Xubuntu desktop with CGMiner can be found HERE.



Bitcoin QT 

Bitcoin QT is the official Bitcoin app that provides you with the ability to manage your coins. It has a simple interface that works across most Linux distributions and makes it easy for you to handle all your bitcoin transactions from one place. Though there are better Bitcoin applications out there, this one may be a preferred choice if you are looking for something more official.



MultiBit

MultiBit is a free application that serves as a wallet for your Bitcoins. Open-source and easy to install, MultiBit works across all major platforms. Once installed, it lets you manage your Bitcoin transactions from one single place. The application is very lightweight and quick to install. It even stores your data in files of really small size, thus making it easy to work with on computers that have low resources. This also means that you can backup your data onto a pen drive or even your smartphone's SD card and not have to worry about computer crashes. MultiBit is fast and keeps all your private keys encrypted on your machine. Overall, it is a great lightweight application for Bitcoiners.



BitMinter

If you are someone who wants to make money mining Bitcoins, BitMinter is a mining pool that allows you to do just that. The aim of this mining pool is to make mining accessible to everyone so that they too could be a part of this open-source phenomenon. Of course, mining coins using a regular computer is not really profitable. It will not only tax your resources but will also send you a huge electricity bill. However, if you have a powerful graphics card, you can surely use it to mine coins as much as you want. And, for that, you'll need to install the BitMinter application. Built on Java, BitMinter works across all major platforms out there. 



Electrum Bitcoin Wallet

Electron is a Bitcoin wallet that lets you store your coins in a safe place. One of the striking features about this app is its simple user interface. Working perfectly well across all major platforms, Electrum stores your data in a secret phrase so that even if your computer gets stolen, only you would have access to your stuff. Also, apart from security, Electrum also offers a lot of convenience for users who like to travel. It does so by letting you use your wallet offline. If you are an Android user, Electrum will also work on your smartphone.



Selasa, 01 April 2014

TechSource: Samsung Galaxy S6 to Feature a Metal Detector and X-ray Scanner

TechSource: Samsung Galaxy S6 to Feature a Metal Detector and X-ray Scanner


Samsung Galaxy S6 to Feature a Metal Detector and X-ray Scanner

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 05:53 PM PDT

Just a few weeks after Samsung Galaxy S5's launch, reports about the next Galaxy phone have already started surfacing. Galaxy S6, the successor to the Android-based device will be the sixth flagship phone in the Korean giant's massively popular Galaxy line. With "bigger and better" being a consistent motto throughout the product's timeline, Samsung plan to launch the S6 with some rather unique features.

Galaxy S5's launch didn't impress as many fans as Samsung expected. Though packed with a heart-rate monitor and fingerprint sensor, Galaxy fanatics didn't think the additions were enough to make them spend their hard-earned cash on it. As with every smartphone in the Galaxy line, this time too, Samsung has shown that it is indeed listening to its fans. As a result, they will be launching the Galaxy S6 with two main features: S-metal, a built-in metal detector and S-ray a portable X-ray scanner.

Citing security and health as the two main areas of focus for the Galaxy S6, the Korean mobile behemoth plans to turn your phone into your very own bodyguard and your doctor. We talked to a Samsung representative and he has finally confirmed the two features:

"We all know how helpful X-ray machines are. But who has the time to go to a doctor? That's why Samsung has added S-ray, a new X-ray feature that is built right into the Galaxy S6's camera. Just snap a picture of any part of your body using the "S-Ray mode" and it will instantly show you an X-ray image of that part on your phone. The image is then matched with hundreds of X-ray images of normal, healthy patients to diagnose any abnormality in your body. The diagnosis is instant so that you won't need a doctor to tell you what problem you have. You can also share that image to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or add cool filters to it. Overall, we believe that this feature will revolutionize smartphones," said the representative.

The S-Ray mode, according to reports, will integrate tightly with the heart-rate monitor and S-health. Samsung also has plans to launch more features that will help users diagnose complex diseases. When asked about the metal detector, Samsung added:

"Every time you turn on the S-metal mode, your phone will start scanning for suspicious metallic objects in your proximity. It's best used like a handheld metal detector by hovering over a suspicious person's body. As an added security measure, you can also opt to send the data to NSA to help them fight the war on terror"

Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy S6 by early 2015. It will feature the latest version of Android with some heavy modifications


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.