Ubuntu Budgie Distro: Simple, Clean and User-Friendly – LinuxInsider

Ubuntu Budgie is one of the few Linux distros to offer integration of a Budgie desktop-only edition, other than
Solus OS, whose developers created it.

Ubuntu Budgie is classy and user-friendly. It does not sacrifice performance for reliance on a simple design. It is maintained by a United Kingdom-based developer community. Previously called “Budgie-Remix,” it is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Budgie desktop.

Although based on the Ubuntu Linux family, Ubuntu Budgie is not from Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company. The Solus community originally developed Budgie from scratch and tightly integrated the desktop user interface with the GNOME stack.

Designed with the modern user in mind, Budgie is known for its simplicity and elegance. It has a plain and clean style and is easy to use.

The Budgie desktop is not a fork of any other desktop project. Its designers planned for an easy integration into other distros, and it is an open source project in its own right.

The integration of an improved Budgie desktop environment with a solid Ubuntu core makes Ubuntu Budgie an interesting and stable Linux distro.

Distro Overview

Budgie has an uncluttered design with little software bloat. It is one of the more promising new desktop variations. Some distros offer Budgie as an option. A few distro developers offer Budgie as the only desktop option.

The Ubuntu Budgie community first released version 17.04 Zesty this spring. The developers follow a rolling upgrade system that constantly upgrades previous 17.04 releases with smaller point releases.

Users of an existing Zesty version automatically receive the newest releases when they run software updates. This is a review of the point release posted earlier this month.

This release places a predefined set of applications on the Plank by default. In Budgie, Plank is a dock-like utility that gives you quick-launch capability for a set of core applications. Previously, Plank apps were determined randomly at installation.

This release also adds numerous style and theme improvements, along with application updates.

Ravin’ Over Raven

At the heart of the Budgie desktop is Raven — an applet, notification and customization center. Combined with the system settings panel, it is the key to controlling the user experience through easy customizations.

To access Raven, use the super key + N key combination. You also can click on the Raven icon on the panel bar. It slides out from the right screen edge much like the GNOME 3 virtual desktop display.

Within the Raven applet, click the Applets tab to access the controls for calendar, speaker and microphone. Click the Notifications tab to see unread system notifications.

Click the Setting gear wheel to open the Budgie settings panel. There you find two tabs: General and Panel.

Using Raven

The General tab display lets you change widget, icon and cursor themes. You can show desktop icons with a single click and tweak a variety of system fonts.

In the Panel tab display settings section, you can choose placement of the panel as well as add more panels and their inner applets. You also gain granular control over individual applet settings.

At the bottom of the Raven panel are buttons to open the system settings control panel, activate power settings and power off.

Simplified Menus

Right-clicking on the desktop opens a limited menu with the ability to create a new folder, change background, open terminal window and organize icons.

The application menu has no cascading views. It is a two-column design.

The left column lists the application categories. The right column lists the individual apps in that category. A search window at the top of the two columns makes it easy to quickly locate any installed program.

Workspace Limitations

One of the essential make-or-break functions of any Linux desktop is the UI’s handling of virtual workspaces. Depending on the distro and the desktop flavor involved, workspace switching can be inconvenient or very limited. Budgie’s approach to this task is somewhere in the middle of the usability scale.

Budgie has come a long way in usability growth since its early days in Solus OS. Ubuntu Budgie integrates the latest Budgie version. It is upgraded to v10.2.9 from v10.2.7. However, the functionality still falls short of what I have come to expect in the Cinnamon and MATE desktops, among others with more advanced workspace switcher functionality.

Using the procedure detailed above, I added the workplace switcher applet to the panel bar. That let me access four workspaces.

Budgie does not let me add or reduce that number, though, and it lacks the ability to map virtual navigation to set keyboard shortcuts, or a right-click option to send an open window to another virtual workspace.

Software Sufficiency

With a goal of high usability out of the box, Ubuntu Budgie provides some of the best software in each category. That goal is stretched due to its honoring the mission to reduce software bloat. You get one application rather than a choice of numerous titles. Of course, you can add and remove applications to suit your taste.

The LibreOffice suite is preinstalled. You get the Chromium Web browser with Geary mail. The graphics collection is limited to an in-house photos app and Simple Scan. The Sound and Videos apps are GNOME MPV and Rythmbox Music Player. The Cheese Webcam Booth is included as well.

System tools may not satisfy Linux veterans, as the selections are really bare bones. There is a similar scarcity in the Administration and Preferences categories too. Even the Utilities are critically limited.

I am all in favor of eliminating software bloat, but that mandate goes a bit too far for my liking. It is a balancing act between having to spend time removing excessive or unused applications, or adding just what you need to build the software library your way.

Bottom Line

The Budgie desktop lacks the glitz and glitter found in more seasoned desktop environments. Animation is nonexistent.

That said, Budgie is an ideal desktop environment that is very user-friendly. Its customization options and ease-of-use make it a great trade-off.

Still, its design seems a bit too simplified for seasoned Linux users.

Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux distro also offers users a Budgie desktop release. Do not confuse that Ubuntu flavor with the Ubuntu Budgie distro. The two desktop integrations have different appearances and feature sets.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software application or distro you’d like to suggest for review? Something you love or would like to get to know?

email your ideas to me, and I’ll consider them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software.
Email Jack.

Article source: http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/84735.html?rss=1

A Bitcoin Is Worth $4000 – Why You Probably Should Not Own One

Even though most people don’t even know what they are, Bitcoins increased in value from about $570 to over $4,300 — an astounding 750% — in just the last year.  Because of this huge return, more people are becoming interested in possibly owning some Bitcoins hoping to make a fast fortune.  That would be very risky.

What are Bitcoins?

An image of Bitcoin and US currencies is displayed on a screen as delegates listen to a panel of speakers during the Interpol World Congress in Singapore on July 4, 2017.The three-day conference on fostering innovation for future security challenges is taking place from July 4 to 6. / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Bitcoins are a crypto-currency.  That means they can be used like a currency, but don’t physically exist like dollar bills.  They are an on-line currency which can be used to buy things.  They are “digital cash” that exist as bits on people’s computers.  You can’t put them in a drawer, like dollar bills or gold Krugerrands.  They exist only in the cloud, like Paypal.  Even though they are virtual, rather than physical, they are used like cash when transferred between people through the web.

Inherently, being virtual is not a bad thing.  The dollars on our financial institution statement, viewed online, are considered real money, even though those are just digital dollars.  The fact that Bitcoins aren’t available in physical form is not really a downside, any more than the numbers on your financial statement are not available as physical currency either. Just like we use credit cards or debit cards to transfer value, Bitcoins can be spent in many locations, just like dollars.

What makes Bitcoins unique, versus other currencies, is that there is no financial system, like the U.S. Federal Reserve, managing their existence and value.  Instead Bitcoins are managed by a bunch of users who track them via blockchain technology.  And Blockchain technology itself is not inherently a problem, since there are folks figuring out all kinds of uses, like accounting, using blockchain.  It is the fact that no central bank controls Bitcoin production that makes them a unique currency.  Independent people watch who buys and sells, and owns, Bitcoins, and in some general fashion make a market in Bitcoins.  This makes Bitcoins very different from dollars, euros or rupees.  There is no “good faith and credit” of the government standing behind the currency.

Why are currencies different from everything else?

Currencies are sort of magical things.  If we didn’t have them we would have to do all transactions by barter.  Want some gasoline?  Without currency you have to give the seller a chicken, or something else the seller wants.  That is less than convenient.  So currencies were created to represent the value of things.  Instead of saying a gallon of gas is worth 1 chicken, we can say it is $2.50.  And the chicken can be worth $2.50.  So currency represents the value of everything.  The dollar, itself, is a small piece of paper that is worth nothing.  But it represents buying power.  Thus, it is stored value.  We hold dollars so we can use the value they represent to obtain the things we want.

Currencies are not the only form of stored value.  People buy gold and lock it in a safe because they believe the demand for gold will rise, increasing its value, and thus the gold is stored value.  People buy collectable art, or rare coins, because they believe as time passes the demand for such artifacts will increase, and thus their value will increase.  The art becomes a stored value.  Some people buy real estate not just to live on, but because they think the demand for that real estate will grow, and thus the real estate is stored value.

But, these forms of stored value are risky, because the stored value can disappear.  If new mines suddenly produce vast new quantities of gold, its value will decline.  If the art is a fake, its value will be lost.  If demand for an artist, or ancient coins, cools their value can fall.  The stored value is dependent on someone else, beyond the current owner, determining what they will pay for that item.

Assets held as stored value can crash

In the 1630s people in Holland thought of tulip bulbs as stored value.  Tulips were desired, giving tulip bulbs value.  But over time people acquired tulip bulbs not to plant, but rather for the stored value they represented.  As more people bought bulbs, and put them in a drawer, the price was driven higher, until 1 tulip bulb was worth 10 times the typical annual salary of a Dutch worker – and worth more than entire houses.  People thought the value of tulip bulbs would forever go up.

But, there were no controls on tulip bulb production.  Eventually it became clear that more tulip bulbs were being created, and the value was much, much greater than one could ever get for the tulips once planted and it flowered.  Even though it took many months for the value of tulip bulbs to become so high, their value crashed in a matter of 2 months.  When tulip bulb holders realized there was nobody guaranteeing the value of their tulip bulbs everyone wanted to sell them as fast as possible, causing a complete loss of all value.  What people thought was stored value evaporated – leaving the tulip bulb holders with worthless bulbs.

This is why almost none of us should own Bitcoins.  Bitcoin value has multiple weaknesses.  Someone could hack the blockchain, create more Bitcoins and manipulate the value, or sell the illegitimate Bitcoins and abscond with the buyers’ dollars.  Or groups of users can place large buys and sells of Bitcoins, manipulating their value, because there are no controls.  Or Bitcoin users could simply start using other crypto-currencies or traditional government issued currencies and the market could fold completely, making Bitcoins worthless, as has happened to other crypto-currencies.  Any one, or all, of these things could happen at any moment.

Be an investor, not a speculator, and avoid Bitcoins

There are speculators and traders who make markets in things like Bitcoins.  They don’t care about the underlying value of anything.  All they care about is the value right now, and the momentum of the pricing.  If something looks like it is going up they buy it, simply on the hope they can sell it for more than they paid and take a profit on the trade.  They don’t see the things they trade as having stored value, because they intend to spin the transaction very quickly in order to make a fast buck.  Even if value falls they sell, taking a loss.  That’s why they are speculators.

Most of us work hard to put a few dollars, euros, pounds, rupees or other currencies into our bank accounts. Most of those dollars we spend on consumption, buying food, utilities, entertainment and everything else we enjoy.   If we have extra money and want the value to grow we invest that money in assets that have an underlying value, like real estate or machinery, or companies that put assets to work making things people want.  We expect our investment to grow because the assets yield a return.  We invest our money for the long-term, hoping to create a nest egg for future consumption.

Unless you are a professional trader, or you simply want to gamble, stay away from Bitcoins.  They have no inherent value, because they are a currency which represents value rather than having value themselves.  The Bitcoin currency is not managed by any government agency, nor is it backed by any government.  Bitcoin values are purely dependent upon holders having faith they will continue to have value.  Right now the market looks a lot more like tulip mania than careful investing.

Learn more about trend planning at AdamHartung.com, or connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Links To More Info:

4 myths and 1 truth about investing

Why FANG investing makes sense

Investing vs. speculating

How to avoid short-term thinking when investing

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2017/08/15/a-bitcoin-is-worth-4000-why-you-probably-should-not-own-one/

Cloud-optimized Linux: Inside Ubuntu’s edge in AWS cloud computing

While the market’s cloud infrastructure solutions are beginning to consolidate, there remains a multitude of options for software development environments. Of the operating systems available, however, Ubuntu overwhelmingly leads as the operating system in Amazon, according to Dustin Kirkland (pictured), head of product and strategy at Canonical Ltd., the company behind Ubuntu. In fact, about 70 percent of all instances running in Amazon right now are running open-source Ubuntu, Kirkland added.

One of the keys to Ubuntu’s success has been heavy optimization of the standard Linux kernel for cloud computing environments.

“We actually have an AWS-optimized Linux kernel. We’ve taken the Ubuntu Linux kernel and we’ve tuned it working with the Amazon kernel engineers to ensure that we carve out everything that’s not relevant inside of an Amazon data center,” Kirkland explained. “In doing so we’ve actually made the kernel 15 percent smaller, which reduces the security and storage footprint of that kernel. … We’ve done that by configuring parameters that enable virtualization drivers to work really well.” 

Kirkland spoke with Stu Miniman (@stu) and John Walls (@JohnWalls21), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during this week’s AWS Summit in New York City. (* Disclosure below.)

Cloud-optimized Linux

The Linux kernel optimization efforts that Canonical has made for the AWS stack also extend into hybrid cloud architectures with on-premises computing mixed in.

“The Amazon hypervisors are usually Xen-based, while typically what we find on premises is KVM [kernel-based virtual machine] or VMware-based. Most of what we goes into that virtual kernel that we built for Amazon actually applies to the virtual kernel that we built for VMware and KVM,” Kirkland said. “For the most part, it’s perfectly compatible all the way back to the virtual machines that you would run on-premises.” 

This optimization for both types of deployments provides a high degree of stickiness for developers looking to deploy applications both locally and in the cloud. 

“Hybrid is the ramp to being all in, but for quite a bit of the industry it’s the journey and destination as well. … Ubuntu helps provide an important portability layer. Knowing that something runs well on Ubuntu locally means that it’s going to run well on Ubuntu in Amazon, or visa versa,” Kirkland concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of AWS Summit. (* Disclosure: Canonical Ltd. sponsored this AWS Summit segment on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Canonical nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

Article source: https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/08/15/cloud-optimized-linux-inside-ubuntus-edge-aws-cloud-computing-awssummi/

Bitcoin market cap is within touching distance of major stocks like Netflix

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Bitcoin market cap is within touching distance of major stocks like Netflix

Bitcoin hit another record high on Tuesday, with the continuing rally bringing its market capitalization within touching distance of major stocks like Netflix.

The price of the cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of $4,483.55 in early trade on Tuesday, continuing the strong rally seen in the past couple of weeks, according to industry website CoinDesk. Bitcoin did dip, however, as low as $4,265.29 on the day.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization — the total number of coins in circulation multiplied by the price — also hit $73.5 billion when the record high was hit, Coinmarketcap data shows. This makes it the highest market capitalization yet.

If bitcoin was a stock (which it isn’t), it would be the seventy-fourth biggest by market capitalization, just behind Adobe and Netflix on the SP 500. Adobe has a market cap of $73.6 billion while Netflix is worth $73.8 billion, putting bitcoin within touching distance of both.

Standpoint's Ronnie Moas raises bitcoin forecast to $7,500

It has already overtaken major stocks such as PayPal, Costco, and Salesforce.

On the Nasdaq, it would be the twenty-fourth largest stock by market cap.

Of course, many investors see bitcoin as a commodity or currency. It also has a finite supply at 21 million bitcoin which will not be reached for several years.

The rally has been driven by rising demand from Japan, increasing interest from institutional investors, and bitcoin being viewed as a safe haven investment from geopolitical tensions.

Gartman: Avoid the bitcom boom


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Africa, like the rest of other continents, has its own unique culture that distinguishes it from the rest of the globe.

Africa, like the rest of other continents, has its own unique culture that distinguishes it from the rest of the globe. 

Though we have to a greater extent adopted the Western way of doing things; from business to social activities, but the truth remains that we have our own unique identity that differentiates us from the rest of the world.

Social culture at work is aimed at reflecting on our social ability and how it affects organisational performance in terms of productivity. We practice and implement business from the Western culture where the status quo is every man for himself, yet here in Africa we still have the old tradition and values of ‘Ubuntu’. The principle of Ubuntu is what has distinguished us from the rest of humanity. The West is totally driven by capitalism where a leader or an employee has to perform and deliver as expected when employed by an institution, if not, that person is shown the exit door. The Western culture of doing business has no room for the weaklings, only the fittest survive to climb and soar in business, politics or whatever sphere of influence it may be. 


The Western versus the African perspective 


The Western culture is driven by productivity and the focus is on competing and succeeding at global level yet in our region and continent or maybe bring it closer to home, we still hold to Ubuntu values and practices.  Defining Ubuntu one would say “humanity to others”.  That means when an organisation hires an employee, it understands that, the employee has a family which depends on him/her.  

Even though understanding and agreement between the employer and employee is that the employee is leasing his/her skills, talent and abilities to the company, if he falls short or below the line of performance still the organisation carries that person under the spirit of Ubuntu. If the leader of that institution sends that person packing because of poor performance, the rest of the  employees tend to behave like a tortoise, they get into a shell and then that leader is feared and at times called names. 

Business excellence asserts that the firm stance of a leader sets the tone in the business. All employees come to know and clearly understand that business is business, people have to perform. The standard of performance of that institution is raised to at least above average if not to optimal levels.  But the big question still remains as to how many of our leaders have the heart to bring the full Western practice in their institutions or rather how do they find a balance applying the Western practice as well as the African perspective of doing business.


The cost of Ubuntu

The burden of social culture on businesses especially those that compete globally is such that one can only wonder as to how to optimally balance institutions expected to raise the bar to operate and compete at global level. This is an element that organisations have to ponder on because it is a reality that they often have to deal with, one way or the other. The million dollar question is what is the cost of social culture to African businesses or African institutions? Can Africa preserve its Ubuntu culture while embracing the Western culture of every man for himself and still continues to compete globally?  

As I pondered on the questions and answers of the cost of social culture on African businesses, I thought maybe we can learn from multinational companies as to how do they do it?  How do they compete at global level yet have offices operating in different continents with different cultures?

Noting the culture of multinationals, these institutions run their organisations through systems that manage performance of employees. So when an employee fails to deliver then it is the system that sends off that employee packing, but still the human  resources department and leadership of that organisations still have to deal with  the burden of social culture, in that someone has to terminate the services of that non-performing employee and send him/her home. As I was writing this article, I was thinking, how do we as Africans find a balance? How do we get the best of both worlds? How do we preserve that which has made and distinguished  us as a continent (Ubuntu) yet at the same time have institutions that are run like global machines- with the ability to compete effectively with their global counter parts. I guess it’s high time Africans have an indaba on how do we become part of globe while preserving the pride of our rich African culture. But by the look of things (at least to me) it seem this globalisation  monster is here to stay and one way or the other our culture will be eroded, diluted by an inherent global culture of the supreme economies of the West. The question is, can Ubuntu survive in this twenty first century?

Article source: http://www.observer.org.sz/features/89355-the-cost-of-ubuntu-on-organisations.html

Bitcoin Price Surges After Agreement on Software Update

A rule in the original software, released in 2009, limited the number of transactions that could move through the system to about five a second.

In the last two years, an outspoken group of Bitcoin aficionados wanted to see the currency expand quickly to compete with Visa and PayPal.

But that camp faced opposition from the so-called core developers, a few dozens programmers who maintain the basic Bitcoin software, generally on a volunteer basis.

At the end of July, some of the people who wanted Bitcoin to expand quickly broke off and created a rival digital money, known as Bitcoin Cash, that can handle more frequent transactions.

That new currency has attracted a small following, and retained a relatively stable value around $300.

Most Bitcoin investors and companies, however, have stayed with the original Bitcoin network and the core developers who are working on it.

The core developers have come up with their own solution to increase the number of transactions running through the system, known as Segregated Witness, or SegWit.


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While SegWit does not expand the network as quickly as Bitcoin Cash, it makes it easier to build services on top of the Bitcoin network, such as the so-called Lightning Network, that will allow for faster transactions.

The biggest backers of the network agreed last week to proceed with SegWit, and it is that agreement, on scaling the network, that is the most obvious reason for the recent surge.

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“Scaling has been the major catalyst for the price rally,” said Charles Hayter, the founder of the data company CryptoCompare. “The scaling debate has certainly been holding the Bitcoin price back.”

Many backers of the core developers have said that Bitcoin is more likely to be a base layer that other services are built atop. In this vision, Bitcoin would be more like gold in the old gold standard than like a payment network.

The gold analogy and the scarcity of Bitcoin — the rules of the network dictate that only 21 million will ever be created — have led some investors to believe that the value of the currency will continue to rise as more people look to store their wealth in the system.

This vision has caught particular fire in Japan and South Korea, which have accounted for an increasing proportion of all Bitcoin trading this year, taking over from China, which once was responsible for the highest trading volume.

The introduction of SegWit does not resolve all of the arguments that have divided the Bitcoin community.

Many large Bitcoin companies are still hoping to follow through with an agreement, reached in the spring, that would change the Bitcoin software in November to allow twice as many transactions to flow through the network.

The core developers have made it clear in various forums that they do not plan to update the software in November to double the network capacity. When the November deadline is reached, some of the companies hoping to double the network capacity could again split off from the core developers.


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“There is a history of animosity between Bitcoin factions with vested interests, and these tensions could flare up again,” Mr. Hayter said.

For now, though, Bitcoin has been rising steadily, and much faster than any of the competing virtual currencies that have cropped up in recent years.

Earlier in the year, the prices of many other virtual currencies were rising faster than the price of Bitcoin, most of all Ethereum, a virtual currency that has more programmable features than Bitcoin.

The price of Ethereum has been rising this month, but more slowly than Bitcoin and it remains below the record high it reached in June. On Monday, the price stood around $300.

Investors are buying Ethereum and Bitcoin to invest in so-called initial coin offerings, a new method of fund-raising in which entrepreneurs create and sell their own virtual currencies.

Such offerings have continued to come onto the market despite warnings from regulators that some of them may violate securities laws.

Continue reading the main story

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/14/business/dealbook/bitcoin-price-virtual-currency.html

Windows vs Ubuntu: A Look Before You Switch

When I first thought about writing an article on Windows vs. Ubuntu, I decided pretty quickly that I would avoid trying to get people to switch operating systems. The fact is, that’s a deeply personal decision that I simply don’t need to influence.

Instead, this article is written for someone who is considering switching from Windows to Ubuntu, doesn’t mind exploring the unknown corners of an operating system they’re unfamiliar with and won’t give up at the first sign of trouble. This may sound harsh, but this simply isn’t an article targeting those who are simply “window shopping” – no pun intended.

It’s been my experience that those who stick with Linux are those individuals who fall into one of two camps. Those who have a desire to learn and adapt. And those who simply have someone more tech-savvy manage their computers for them. This article will cater to the former.

Dual-Booting Windows vs Ubuntu

I’ll be first to admit that I’m not a fan of dual-booting Windows with Ubuntu. My reasoning isn’t ideological. My issue with it comes down to how Windows tends to break dual-booting after its updates. Technically one would be fair in pointing out that the larger issue is EFI, but the end result is Windows being the only bootable operating system.

Assuming you accept this can and absolutely will happen to you eventually, then the next step is to decide how you want to map out your dual-booting system. It’s certainly possible to simply setup the needed partitions and set up a Windows and Ubuntu installation scheme. But there is an order to things to consider. For example, which operating system should you install first?

Most experts agree that you’ll want to install Windows first, run its updates and configure it to your liking. After this is done, you would install Ubuntu while making sure you choose the “Install along side of Windows” option in Ubuntu’s installation options. This “should” get GRUB appearing upon the installation completion so you can select the OS you wish to boot into going forward.

If at all possible, I prefer to use separate hard drives for each OS. While it’s not critical, it’s merely a preference in how I like to handle my partitioning or dealing with drive failure. I also recommend setting up a dedicated home partition for your Ubuntu installation. This makes reinstalling Ubuntu much easier and provides a “lazy person’s backup” if you are running a few days behind on your proper offsite backups for your user data. This is not suggesting that running a dedicated home partition is a reliable means of backing up your user data. Instead, this approach simply saves you time if the drive is intact and the data is uncorrupted after hosing an Ubuntu installation. Moving on.

Running Software on Windows vs Ubuntu

Before you install Ubuntu for the first time, I highly recommend getting used to using software that’s available for both operating systems before committing to running Ubuntu full time. Some Linux users love to suggest that software is software and switching platforms just isn’t that big a deal. I disagree and believe that it’s critical to know what applications you’ll be using on the new platform and how they work.

For example, if I’m a Photoshop user and believe that switching to GIMP is going to be a straight forward process, I’m in for a bit of a shock. GIMP is fantastic image manipulation software, however it’s layout and features do differ from it’s Adobe influenced cousin. For example, Photoshop handles CMYK color mode easily out of the box with the right ICC profile setup ahead of time. GIMP can provide elements of this, with additional plugins installed. Perhaps more importantly, GIMP lacks full support for CMYK.

An alternative for Linux users looking into proper CMYK support would be going forward with Krita. As someone coming into Linux from Windows, the consideration here is that Krita is a paint program where Photoshop is a photo editing program. Thankfully, Krita has outstanding documentation that can help you decide if Krita is a match for you.

And this my friends, is why I recommend trying out Linux software on a platform you’re familiar with first. Most open source software for the desktop is readily available for multiple platforms afterall. If you find the Linux alternative easy to use, then all the better. But if you find that there are some titles that simply aren’t replaceable in Linux, you can dual-boot with Windows and still have a robust Linux experience.

Windows vs Ubuntu Hardware

Various Linux user forums are filled with people complaining that some element of their Linux installation isn’t working as expected. The twist is that most of these posts are made by people running Linux on notebooks built for Windows. Obviously this doesn’t mean that you can’t run Linux on these machines. Quite the contrary, actually. What it does mean is that when a machine has the made for Windows sticker on it, you’re accepting that its up to you to make sure you have a compatible Linux distro.

As a rule, I recommend laptops that come with Intel graphics. Unless you’ve purchased a machine that was built for Ubuntu or some other distro, running a mixed graphics environment is generally best left to advanced users. The exception to this is if you purchase a “built for Ubuntu” notebook that comes with mixed graphics. This means engineers have already tested and confirmed that computer will run correctly with Ubuntu and possibly other distros.

Another hardware consideration is your networking hardware. Any ethernet card is going to work just fine. And while most any wireless card should work with Ubuntu and other Linux distros, I highly recommend Atheros or Intel cards whenever possible. Both wireless brands will support the latest wireless standards in Linux. I strongly recommend against Broadcom chipsets. Despite the fact that they are supposed to work fine in Linux, I have seen many examples where even in 2017 people still struggle with this brand.

And then there is the matter of audio. Honestly, I don’t think there’s much to say here. While I think Linux audio still over-complicates with its audio architectures and sound servers, overall it does work well. For newcomers, the one application for handling multiple sound cards on Ubuntu that I recommend is called pavucontrol. This software provides you functionality not found in all distros. In addition to Output and Input tabs, pavucontrol also provides playback and recording tabs. These allow you to send different audio streams to different soundcards/headsets.

So what does a user do when something doesn’t work at all? My first suggestion is to visit my Linux troubleshooting article. Odds are there is a fix there that will get things working for you. If that doesn’t work, then perhaps the problems is that you’ve overlooked something. I once spent ten minutes trying to figure out why my mouse stopped working. Turns out I had kicked the cord lose and simply wasn’t aware of it! Stuff like that happens, not just with Ubuntu, but with any operating system.

Getting Help with Windows vs Ubuntu

When you have a problem with Windows, you’re able to get help both online as well as locally from a local PC repair shop. When you use a Linux distro like Ubuntu, you’re almost always going to be seeking out help online. Local help for “non-enterprise Linux” simply isn’t a sustainable business unfortunately.

For Ubuntu, I recommend sticking to Ubuntu Answers for help. Not only does it provide a solid place to search for a solution, but you’ll also find that asking your question there yields a great chance for success. Remember to be specific. Share the affected device brand and model, what you tried thus far, stuff like that goes a long way to getting you the answer to your troubleshooting query.

Windows vs Ubuntu: Which is Right for You?

You may remember at the beginning of this article that I couldn’t accurately suggest that one option was better than the other. This holds true, but with one exception. After spending some time between the two operating systems you should be in a place where you can finally come to a decision which is the right platform that best meets your needs. For me, Ubuntu MATE LTS remains my preferred operating system. My reasons are many, but it mostly comes down to the fact that if I have an issue, I can fix it myself. No need to wait for anyone else in most cases.

What say you? Do you run Ubuntu or another distro full time? Have you felt the need to dual-boot or otherwise have access to Windows to run certain applications? I’d love to hear about it. Not from a this is why your choice is better, rather why it’s better for your as an individual.

Article source: http://www.datamation.com/open-source/windows-vs-ubuntu-a-look-before-you-switch.html

Goldman Sachs says bitcoin may rise about $500 more, before losing half its value

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Eugene Aono, a spokesperson for BMEX bitcoin exchange, demonstrates usage of the company's Robocoin-branded automated teller machine (ATM) at The Pink Cow restaurant and bar in Tokyo, Japan.

Bitcoin’s latest leap higher brings the digital currency closer to a near-term top, Goldman Sachs’ chart analyst said.

The digital currency is riding a “fifth wave” of an “impulsive” rally that could run as high as $4,827 in the short term, technical analyst Sheba Jafari said in a Sunday report of charts to watch for the week ahead.

However, “once a full five-wave sequence is in place, the market should in theory enter a corrective phase,” she said. “This can last at least one-third of the time it took to complete the preceding advance and retrace at least 38.2 percent of the entire move.”

At the time of the report’s publication, Jafari said that correction could take bitcoin down to around $2,221.

Bitcoin is nearing its target for the “fifth wave” that theoretically leads to a correction

Source: Goldman Sachs

Bitcoin hit a record high of $4,348.23 on Monday, according to CoinDesk, quadrupling in value for the year. That leaves just 11 percent in gains for bitcoin before hitting the high end of Jafari’s forecast.

Already at above $4,300, bitcoin trades well beyond the $4,133 price that Jafari identified as possibly “a level from which to watch for signs of a near-term consolidation.”

Although Jafari didn’t explicitly name it, the five-wave principle of technical analysis is known as the “Elliott Wave.” In July, The Elliott Wave Theorist newsletter also pointed out that bitcoin is “making a final fifth wave from six cents” after predicting the digital currency’s surge seven years ago.

That said, other analysts predict bitcoin can climb into the tens of thousands in the next few years. They expect that growing investor interest in a digital currency with a limited circulation of 21 million coins should naturally drive prices higher.

Bitcoin would also have to fall under $2,935 “to signal that a top is already in place,” Jafari said in the report.

Dramatic price swings of several hundred dollars or more are not uncommon in the digital currency world. In the month after hitting a prior record of $3,025 in mid-June, bitcoin lost more than $1,000, before rallying to all-time highs in the last two weeks.

Analysts attributed the gains to investor optimism about bitcoin after the uneventful bitcoin split on Aug. 1 into bitcoin and bitcoin cash, as well as greater interest from institutional investors.

Evelyn Cheng CNBC

New Ubuntu 17.10 dock revealed

Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, made a decision recently to move away from the Unity desktop environment project and come back into the fold by switching to GNOME. Now a new development branch of the upcoming release shows how the new left-hand panel could look.

Canonical has based its dock on the Dash to Dock GNOME Shell addon but has been making some alterations to make it better suit its requirements. Firstly, the settings UI has been removed in the fork. The settings allowed users to adjust the location, size, behaviour, and look of the dock. In order to edit the dock in Ubuntu, users will be forced to make changes through the dconf-editor app.

Image via OMG Ubuntu

A few of the dock settings will also be available through the Control Centre too including the ability to enable intellihide which makes the dock hide when it’s in the way of a window.

Including a dock that replicates the basic function of Unity is a sensible move by Canonical. Ubuntu tends to be the first port of call for Linux newbies so keeping some sort of familiarity with the user interface will means less people getting scared off by new changes.

Source: OMG Ubuntu

Article source: https://www.neowin.net/news/new-ubuntu-1710-dock-revealed

After calling latest surge above $4000, Standpoint’s Ronnie Moas raises bitcoin forecast to $7500

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Longtime stock researcher Ronnie Moas raised his price target on bitcoin by $2,500 on Monday after the digital currency hit all-time highs over the weekend.

“What’s happening is the floodgates are opening,” Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, said in a phone interview with CNBC on Monday. “I believe there are hedge funds and very deep-pocketed individuals going into this now, really hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Moas first laid out his views on bitcoin’s potential in early July and issued a formal report at the end of last month with a price target of $5,000 for next year.

He told clients Monday he now expects bitcoin to hit climb nearly 80 percent from the weekend’s records to $7,500, and maintained the digital currency could surge to $50,000 in 2027 — representing a 28 percent annual compounded growth rate.

Bitcoin three-month performance

Source: CoinDesk

After bitcoin’s uneventful split into bitcoin and bitcoin cash on Aug. 1, bitcoin has soared more than 40 percent to all-time highs.

Bitcoin climbed 5 percent Monday morning to a record high of $4,321.08, more than quadruple in value for the year, according to CoinDesk. At that price, the digital currency has gained about 50 percent in August.

As institutional investor interest in bitcoin grows, Moas expects digital currencies to become part of “strategic reserves” and “asset allocation models in the near future.” He also said people in foreign countries will likely want to buy digital currencies as a more stable alternative to their national currencies.

“You can’t look at this as a normal situation,” he said. “We’re in an industry that will probably go from $140 billion to $2 trillion and the bitcoin price will probably move with that.”

The total market value of more than 800 digital coins listed on CoinMarketCap.com has climbed from around $20 billion at the start of this year to about $140 billion on Monday. Bitcoin accounts for about half of that value.

Year-to-date change in global value of digital currencies

Source: CoinMarketCap

Another digital currency, ethereum, traded 1 percent higher near $307, according to CoinDesk. Ethereum has shot up more than 3,000 percent this year.

Bitcoin cash, an alternative version of bitcoin supported by a minority of developers, held steady near $300, according to CoinMarketCap.

Moas told CNBC that 100 percent of his investments are in digital currencies, with the majority in bitcoin and ethereum. He said he never invested in the stocks he issued reports on.

He added in his Monday note to clients:

“Any way that I look at these numbers, my forecasts are looking conservative. It looks to me as though we are at the same point in the adoption curve as we were in 1995 when we went from one million internet users to ten million. The following year the Netscape browser came online and we went from 10 million users to hundreds of millions of users overnight.

I expect that within a couple of years we will have between 50 and 100 million cryptocurrency users — up from approximately ~10 million today. We only have 0.15% market penetration right now — if that goes to 2% or 3% we will get to the $50,000 price target that I set at the beginning of July.”

To be sure, many note that bitcoin remains like the Wild West compared with the established Wall Street market.

“People should understand they’re not dealing with the NYSE right now. There’s no regulation, there’s no face that you can attach to these exchanges,” Moas told CNBC, noting his digital currency holdings are spread across five exchanges.

Bitcoin lost more than half its value in 2014 as Mt.Gox, then the largest exchange by far, said it lost about 850,000 bitcoins (worth about half a billion U.S. dollars at the time) and filed for bankruptcy.

This July, the U.S. Department of Justice alleged in an indictment that a “sizeable portion” of the Mt.Gox losses were deposited in accounts controlled, owned and operated by an exchange called BTC-e and a Russian national named Alexander Vinnik. Vinnik was arrested in late July.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

Bitcoins sit on top of a collection of U.S. one dollar bills in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.

Evelyn Cheng CNBC


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Bitcoin surges past $4000, sets more records

The price of bitcoin continued its meteoric rise Sunday, crossing the $4,000 mark for the first time.

After cresting as high as $4,200 earlier in the day, bitcoin

BTCUSD, -2.82%

  was at $4,078.08 at 5 p.m. Eastern, up 4.1% for the day, according to Coindesk.com. The price of bitcoin is up more than 40% in August, and more than 280% this year.

It first passed the $2,000 mark in May, and topped $3,000 for the first time in June. Bitcoin has surged to a number of new records in the past two weeks, since the digital currency split and created a new currency, Bitcoin Cash.

Read: Confused about bitcoin? 10 things you need to know

The value of cryptocurrencies overall has gained $11 billion in market cap in just the past two days, according to Coinmarketcap.com, topping out Sunday at a record $137 billion. Bitcoin’s share of that is more than $66 billion, another record.

Asian investors were responsible for much of bitcoin’s weekend gains, as investors sought safe havens as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea heat up. The Japanese yen was behind about 46% of Sunday’s global bitcoin trade volume, according to Cryptocompare.com. South Korea and China each made up about 12% of global volume.

Bitcoin’s weekend gains came at the expense of its rival digital currencies. Ethereum’s ether was down nearly 5% to $295.42 on Sunday, according to Coindesk.com, Ripple declined almost 4% and Bitcoin Cash slipped 4.3%.

Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-surges-past-4000-sets-more-records-2017-08-13

Bitcoin Breaks $4000

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Article source: http://fortune.com/2017/08/13/bitcoin-breaks-4000/

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork: It’ll Show Us Which Coin Is Best | Fortune.com

op-ed in Fortune claims, the split was a long time coming.

The origins of the debate can be traced back to 2010, when a one megabyte per 10 minutes limit was quietly added into the Bitcoin codebase as a spam control measure. Because the value of a bitcoin was so low at the time, trading for pennies each, the limit was intended to prevent would-be attackers from overloading the network with a flood of cheap transactions.

This one simple variable gradually led to the emergence of two competing factions within the Bitcoin industry. One side wanted the limit raised to allow Bitcoin to scale with growing demand, while the other side claimed that allowing Bitcoin to grow too quickly would result in its centralization and shift to corporate control.

As the Bitcoin network grew in popularity, this one megabyte limit started being pushed up against in late 2016, but through organic network growth rather than by a flood of maliciously generated transactions. The result was that Bitcoin found itself unable to absorb increased demand: Every transaction would now be at the expense of another, and a fee bidding war drove the average transaction fee from pennies to a peak of more than $5 in June 2017.

Many worried that such high fees would hinder Bitcoin’s growing adoption and use, disenfranchising most of the world’s actual Bitcoin users, leaving only price speculators and those willing to pay high fees to transact in bitcoin.

After years spent at loggerheads with the other faction, the Bitcoin Cash supporters decided that rather than try to morph Bitcoin to their wishes, they would simply create a split of the ledger and let the market decide. The Bitcoin Classic chain retains the one megabyte limit and the legacy ticker symbol, BTC, while the Bitcoin Cash chain has increased the limit to eight megabytes and adopted a new ticker symbol, BCH (alternatively BCC, depending on who you ask).

Any person holding bitcoin at the time of the split on August 1 received identical amounts of each new coin at the time of the split. If you had one Bitcoin at the end of July, you’d now have one BTC and one BCH in August. Rather than causing a market upset, the split achieved the desirable outcome of allowing both visions of Bitcoin to compete in the free market.

Many have decided to sell one side of the split to buy more of the other side, but more conservative holders can benefit from holding both and refraining from speculation. Preventing either of the two ideologically divided camps from pursuing their vision does no one any favors: Both camps were stuck with a version of Bitcoin they viewed as suboptimal. The split allows each coin to develop and grow in the way its supporters believe to be best.

And the markets seem to agree. The price of both tokens combined is now greater than the price of one Bitcoin before the split. In the long term, expect to see market demand coalesce around one of the two coins. Bitcoin has always belonged to the free market—may the best coin win!

Jake Smith is a manager at Bitcoin.com.

Article source: http://fortune.com/2017/08/11/bitcoin-cash-hard-fork-price-date-why/