Apps to Do Everything Social in Linux

posted in: Linux, Social Media | 5

Social media has permeated nearly every aspect of the web, and people are more social than ever without seeing their contacts face-to-face. To keep up with this social activity, many people have several devices, including computers, mobile phones, and even gaming consoles. If you happen to have a computer running Linux, there is no reason to be left out of the social loop. Linux has a number of social tools to help you stay connected.

Choqok Twitter app in KDE


How to Sync Your LibreOffice Files with Google Docs

posted in: Free Software, Linux, Technology | 15

If you are like me, you have a love/hate relationship with Google Docs. You love that you can access your documents from anywhere and love that it auto-saves and is easy to use. You might hate, however, how it sometimes disconnects in the middle of the sentence you are typing or how you have to run it inside a browser tab or window, sometimes getting it mixed up with your websites and accidentally closing the window.

LibreOffice Splash screen



Linux and the Dual Monitor Dilemma

posted in: KDE, Linux | 6
My old desktop from 2009
My old dual-screen desktop from 2009

This has been an ongoing issue for me.  Not all Linux desktop environments respond the same to dual monitor hardware configurations, and not all of them function well when it involves a laptop.

For years I have favored KDE’s desktop workspace, partially because of its superior set of options for dual monitors.  You can set the primary monitor, tell KDE to follow the mouse when starting an app so that it opens on the right screen, and even configure separate desktops and widgets for each screen.


Has Boxee Abandoned Its Linux, Mac, and Windows Users?

posted in: Linux, Technology | 2

Boxee logoBoxee is an open source media center software alternative to many of the heavily commercialized, codec-light set-top boxes on the market.  In its early stages, Boxee was only available for PC (Windows and Linx) and Mac users.  Apple TV users could also convert their boxes into something useful.  Boxee can play just about any video you download or create, as well as a large collection of online streaming content from Netflix, VUDU, and several TV networks.


What the Microsoft-Skype Deal Means for Linux Users

posted in: Free Software, Technology | 1

As news of Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype begins to surface, I cannot help but ask the question.  What does this mean for Linux users of Skype?  In the past, Microsoft has gone out of its way to make sure its software was not compatible with Linux, and Steve Ballmer has thrown his fair share of insults at free and open source software in general.  Does this mean Linux support for Skype will soon end?

Steve Ballmer


Browser Wars, My Own Observations

posted in: Technology, The Web | 7

On a given day, I may use three different browsers for various reasons.  Sometimes one browser just gets the job done better than another.  Having said that, the following results are only from one test (SunSpider), on one computer (mine), on one operating system (Kubuntu).  Results may vary for you, but the point of it is to demonstrate that the browser wars are getting very competitive.  On a given day, one build of Chrome may be faster than Firefox, and on another day, the opposite may be true.

Browser wars: Firefox vs. Chromium vs. Rekonq vs. Opera



Simulating Two-Finger Scrolling in Linux

posted in: Linux | 3

Finger hovering over laptop touchpad

Ubuntu (and possibly your Linux distribution) comes with support for notebook/netbook touchpads. If you are a laptop person, you probably have a love/hate relationship with your touchpad or trackpad. You might love finger-tapping to simulate your button-pressing, or you might hate it. Similarly, two-finger scrolling is something I have come to love, but others out there might despise it. It depends on your preferences (and possibly the width of your finger – more on that later).

Netflix Looking to Hire HTML5 Expert

posted in: The Web | 0

I was doing a Google search for HTML 5 video, and an ad came up for Netflix jobs.  I hardly ever click on ads, but I was curious to see what the connection was.  Sure enough, Netflix has a job opening for:

Senior Software Engineer – HTML5 Video Standards

One would assume that means Netflix is at least flirting with the idea of streaming its video using HTML5 technology.  Then again, we all know what assuming makes us.

Netflix HTML5 Job

Cloud Compromise: Online Software, Local Data

posted in: The Web | 2

Girl watching the clouds

While some people are singing the praises of “the cloud”, and any business executive can sound cool if he says, “Yeah, we’re moving to the cloud”, the truth is: “the cloud” may not be as wonderful as people would have you think.

Where is this cloud anyway?  Do you even know what “the cloud” is?  The cloud is just what someone who was a little high decided to call hosted applications or services on the web.  Even entire platforms and operating systems can run on the web, and people use them every day.  If you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or (God forbid) Hotmail, you are using cloud applications on a regular basis.


Will Charging Readers for Access Save Newspapers?

posted in: The Web | 0

If started charging readers to view content on this site, would any of you loyal readers still visit?  Many readers would likely just move on to another free news source.  That reality raises another question.  If a major newspaper such as the New York times decided to charge readers for online content, would their readers pay?

The lesson I learned even in high school Journalism class was that advertisements keep newspapers running, not paper sales.  Nevertheless, most print publications still charge a small fee, and the NY Times is apparently not raking in enough money in online advertising to cover their decline in print ad revenue.