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Benjamin Kerensa: The Glucosio Project

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 08:51
Nobody was doing pink so we settled on it ;)

I have come up with a new phrase and I am going to keep saying it and it is “The most important open source software has not yet been made.” But why is this phrase true? Simply put we have a lot of great open source software out there but the most important open source software is the one that’s not been written because of some barrier or challenge.

For every person, different software has different levels of importance right? So what is the most important unwritten open source software for me? Well it is health tech software that enables people to better understand how their health is and how their choices can impact it positively and negatively.

I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and I have from the get-go tried to use technology and software to help me manage it. From graphing my glucose levels so I know how different foods impact me to tracking medication and other important metrics. But one thing stuck out when I was looking at available tools is that there are not many open source health tech applications and tools available and those that did exist were inferior to the proprietary ones.

So why is it important to have these tools be open source if the proprietary ones work well? Simply put, if you have the source code you can trust your data is kept private and safe but also you can build off the tools and integrate them with other services and tools that work specifically for you.

That being said, I came up with the idea of launching a Open Source Project and have formed a team of amazing individuals who share my vision of creating tools to help the millions of people worldwide suffering from both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. We are moving forward with that and are right now in the planning stage of launching the Glucosio Project (Italian for Glucose). The project will initially launch an Android app, then iOS and finally a web app (Think Tizen, Ubuntu Phone, Firefox OS) to allow diabetics to track their glucose and connect with third party services (IFTT, Phillips Hue, Pushbullet, Pushover etc), share the data and better understand the impact of their choices. We very well may expand as the project and contributor base but this is what we have envisioned so far.

I would like to thank Elio Qoshi, Satyajit Sahoo, Paolo Rotolo, Georgi Karavasilev, Priyanka Nag, Joshua Fogg, Viking Karwur, Stefan Angelov, Rahul Kondi and Ahmar Siddiqui for sharing this vision with me and joining as initial project contributors and the core team that will be behind the Glucosio Project.

We still have room for more (Dev, Doc, Creative, l10n etc) and if you are interested in contributing to this project please get in touch with us at hello [at] glucosio.org or follow the project on Github. We hope to make a big difference in many people’s lives with the apps we are working on and hope you will join us!

Miley: If you can't beat them, Join them

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:12
Haha ,
I am not a fan of Facebook or of Twitter, but it seems social media is the way to go. We have had much success with finding missing LoCo's in Africa. Only 5 of the 18 countries still to get contact with so than can join our Africa initiative. Maybe the social media bit will help. So now we have a tweet place as well  @ubuntuinafrica
Here one can see the Ubuntu users already committed  https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-africa
I am pleased to find that each new user or group I get into contact with is excited and happy that there is a Ubuntu revival underway in Africa. Personally I don"t mind if a few other countries join us as well, because why limit oneself to one continent if you can meet and make friends on all of them. isn't this what community spirit is all about? Oh and of course most important of all is I received my Ubuntu membership certificate today after 6 months of stressing because the post office took their time.

Colin King: New ACPI table tests in fwts 15.07.00

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 02:49
The Canonical Hardware Enablement Team and myself have been working on some significant improvements and changes to the Firmware Test Suite 15.07.00 over the past several weeks.  This cycle has been focused on adding more ACPI table testing support:

1. Added ACPI table tests:
  • BERT (Boot Error Record Table)
  • BGRT (Boot Graphics Resource Table)
  • BOOT (Boot Table)
  • CPEP (Corrected Platform Error Polling Table)
  • CSRT (Core System Resource Table)
  • DBG2 (Debug Port Table 2)
  • DBGP (Debug Port Table)
  • ECDT (Embedded Controller Boot Resources Table)
  • ERST (Error Record Serialization Table)
  • FACS (Firmware ACPI Control Structure)
  • HEST (Hardware Error Source Table)
  • LPIT (Low Power Idle Table test)
  • MSDM (Microsoft Data Management Table)
  • SLIC (Software Licensing Description Table)
  • SLIT (System Locality Distance Information)
  • SPCR (Serial Port Console Redirection Table)
  • SPMI (Service Processor Management Interface Description Table)
  • SRAT (System Resource Affinity Table)
  • TCPA (Trusted Computing Platform Alliance Capabilities Table)
  • UEFI (UEFI Data Table)
  • WAET (Windows ACPI Emulated Devices Table)
  • XENV (Xen Environment Table)
2. Moved the following tests out of the generic "acpitables" test into their own ACPI table tests:
  • FADT (Fixed ACPI Description Table)
  • HPET (HPET IA-PC High Precision Event Timer Table)
  • GTDT (GTDT Generic Timer Description Table)
  • MADT (Multiple APIC Description Table)
  • RSDP (Root System Description Pointer)
  • RSDT (Root System Description Table)
  • SBST (Smart Battery Specification Table)
  • XSDT (Extended System Description Table)
3. Updated ACPICA to version 20150616 and also 20150619 (ACPICA is used for the assembler/dissassembler and execution engine).

4. Renamed the --uefi and --acpi options to --uefitests and --acpitests respectively.

5. Improved fwts built-time regression tests.  To ensure future changes don't break fwts, we have added more regression tests to sanity check fwts ACPI table tests. Quality matters to us.

This release also incorporates some important bug fixes too, such making the acpidump dump file loading parser more robust, updating the SMM Communication fields on the UEFI table and fixing a segfault in the regular expression kernel log scanner on 32 bit systems.

For the next release of fwts, we are planning to continue to add table more tests from ACPI 5.x and ACPI 6.0 to get full coverage.

As ever, like all releases, for more details please consult the change log and the release notes.

    Ubuntu Server blog: Server team meeting minutes: 2015-07-07

    Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 09:33
    • Caribou wrote a blog post about curtin/maas customization: http://caribou.kamikamamak.com/2015/06/26/custom-partitioning-with-maas-and-curtin-2/ and is working on a kernel crash dump subordinate charm
    • No meeting actions
    • Next meeting will be on Jul 14th 16:00:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting

    Full agenda and log

    Ubuntu Server blog: Server team meeting minutes: 2015-06-30

    Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 08:51

    The meeting was very short with little that needed discussion.

    • matsubara will be performing SRU verification on bug 1443735 “recordfail false positive causes headless servers to hang on boot by default”.
    • The ODS for Tokyo submission is open.
    • No meeting actions were assigned.
    • The next meeting will be on Tue Jul 7 16:00:00 UTC 2015 in #ubuntu-meeting.

    Full agenda and log

    Daniel Holbach: Join the first Snappy Open House!

    Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 03:03

    Snappy is evolving, becoming more robust and is getting loads of new users. This week will see a new stable release of Snappy. For us that’s reason enough to invite you all to our first Snappy Open House today.

    Starting from 14:00 UTC today (2015-07-07), we are going to be on Ubuntu-on-Air, introducing team, talking about what’s new and talking about testing Snappy. If you want to get involved or wanted to get to know snappy, this is a great opportunity.

    Hope to see you later on!

    The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 424

    Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:48

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #424 for the week June 29 – July 5, 2015, and the full version is available here.

    In this issue we cover:

    The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

    • Paul White
    • Elizabeth K. Joseph
    • Charles Profitt
    • Ian Nicholson
    • Daniel Beck
    • Jim Connett
    • And many others

    If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

    Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

    Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 424

    The Fridge - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:31

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #424 for the week June 29 – July 5, 2015, and the full version is available here.

    In this issue we cover:

    The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

    • Paul White
    • Elizabeth K. Joseph
    • Charles Profitt
    • Ian Nicholson
    • Daniel Beck
    • Jim Connett
    • And many others

    If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

    Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

    Zygmunt Krynicki: Backporting python-launchpadlib3 to Ubuntu 14.04

    Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 04:35
    tl;dr; You can now use python 3 version of launchpadlib from ppa:zyga/launchpadlib-backports. Read on if you want to find out how I did it.

    Today a colleague of mine asked for a small hint on how to do something with launchpadlib. I asked for the code sample and immediately stopped, seeing this is python 2 code. As python 2 is really not the way to start anything new in Ubuntu nowadays I looked at what's stopping us from using python 3.

    It turns out, my colleague was using the LTS release (14.04) and python 3 version of launchpadlib just wasn't available at that time. Bummer.

    Having a quick look at the dependencies I decided to help everyone out and create a PPA with the backported packages. Since this is a common process I though I would share my approach to both let others know and give more knowledgeable Debian developers a chance to correct me if I'm wrong.

    The whole process starts with getting the source of the package you want to build. I wanted to get the latest and greatest packages so I grabbed the source package from Ubuntu 15.10 (wily). To do that I just go to packages.ubuntu.com and search for the right package. Here I wanted the python3-launchpadlib package. On the right-hand-side you can see the link to the .dsc file. You want that link so copy it now.

    The right way to download each Debian source package is to use dget. Using a temporary directory as a workspace execute this command (if you read this later, the source package may not be available any more, you'd have to adjust the version numbers to reproduce the process).

    dget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/p/python-launchpadlib/python-launchpadlib_1.10.3-2.dsc

    With that package unpacked you want to change into the sub-directory with the unpackaged code. At this stage, you need to have a sbuild for Ubuntu 14.04. If you don't have one, it's time to make one now. You want to follow the excellent article on the Debian wiki for this. Many parts are just copy-paste but the final command you need to run is this:

    sudo sbuild-createchroot --make-sbuild-tarball=/var/lib/sbuild/trusty-amd64.tar.gz trusty `mktemp -d` http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu

    Note that you cannot _just_ run it as there are some new groups you have to add and have available. Go read the article for that.

    So with the sbuild ready to build our trusty packages, let's see what we get. Note, that in general, the process involves just those four steps.

    1. sbuild -d trusty
    2. dch # edit the changelog
    3. dpkg-buildpackage -S -sa
    4. dput ppa:zyga/launchpadlib-backports ../*.source.changes
    After doing step one you'll see that you have missing build dependencies. Those are python-keyring, lazr.restfulclient, python-oauth and python-wadllib. We need to backport those too!

    At this time the process recursively continues. You grab a .dsc file with dget it, and try to sbuild it right there. Luckily, you will find that nothing here has more dependencies and that each of the four packages builds cleanly.

    At this time, you want to create a new PPA. Just go to your launchpad profile page and look for the link to create it. The PPA will serve as a buffer for all the packages so that we can finally build the package we are after. Without the PPA we'd have to build a local apt repository which is just mildly more difficult and not needed since we want to share our packages anyway.

    With the PPA in place you can now start preparing each package for upload. As a habit I bump the version number and change the target distribution version from wily / unstable to trusty. I also add a changelog entry that explains this is a backport and mentions the name of the PPA. The version number is a bit more tricky. You want your packages to be different from any packages in the Ubuntu archive so that eventual upgrades work okay. The way I do that is to use a (x-).1 version which is always smaller than the corresponding x Ubuntu version. Let's see how this works for each of the packages we have here.
    • lazr.restfulclient has the Debian version 0.13.4-5 which I change to 0.13.4-5ubuntu0.1. This way both Ubuntu can upload 0.13.4-5ubuntu1 and Debian can upload 0.13.4-6 and users will get the correct update, nice.
    • python-keyring has the Ubuntu version 4.0-1ubuntu1 which I change to 4.0-1ubuntu1.1 so that the subsequent 4.0-1ubuntu2 can be uploaded to Ubuntu without any conflicts.
    • python-oauth has the Debian version 1.0.1-4 which I change to 1.0.1-4ubuntu0.1 to let Ubuntu update to -ubuntu1 eventually, if needed.
    • python-wadllib has the Debian version 1.3.2-3 which I change to 1.3.2-3ubuntu0.1 in exactly the same way.
    Have a look at an example changelog to get a feel of how this all works together.

    Now all the dependencies are ready and I can do the final test build of launchpadlib itself. Since I always test-build everything I will now need to expose access to my PPA so that my sbuild (which knows nothing about it otherwise) can get the missing packages and build everything. This is the magic line that does it:

    sbuild -d trusty --chroot-setup-commands='apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-key E62E6AAB' --extra-repository "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/zyga/launchpadlib-backports/ubuntu trusty main"

    Here, we have two new arguments to sbuild. First, we use --chroot-setup-commands to import the public key that launchpad is using to sign packages in my archive. Note that the key identifier is unique to my PPA (and probably to my launchpad account). You want to check the key listed on the PPA page you got. The second argument --extra-repository just makes our PPA visible to the apt installation inside the chroot so that we can resolve all the dependencies. On more recent versions of Ubuntu you can also use [trusted=yes] suffix but this doesn't work for Ubuntu 14.04.

    After all the uploads are done you should wait and see that all the packages are built and published. This is clearly visible in the "package details" link on the PPA. If you see a spinning stopwatch then the package is building. If you see a green cogwheel then the package has built but is not yet published into the PPA (those are separate steps, like make and make install, kind of). When all the packages are ready I copied all the binary packages (without rebuilding) from trusty to utopic, vivid and wily so that anyone can use the PPA. The wily copy is a bit useless but it should let users use the same instructions even if they don't need anything, without getting weird errors they might not understand.

    So there you have it. The whole process took around an hour and a half (including writing this blog post). Most of the time was spent waiting on particular test builds and on the launchpad package publisher.

    If you have any comments, hints or suggestions please leave them in the commends section below. Thanks.

    Miley: Africa is growing

    Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 01:38
    Having an @ubuntu.com email address has some clout. After trying for six months to get a response from the missing LoCo's in Africa using my old gmail address some of them didn't reply, now , retrying with @ubuntu.com I am getting somewhere. #ubuntu-africa is slowly growing and I have received some reply mails from other counties that are all pleased that there is a LoCo revival move underway. We have grown to the stage where we will have our first meeting on the 29th of this month at 20.30 UTC+2  Anyone else is welcome to join us. I hope to see many of you there on irc > freenode > #ubuntu-africa
    Everyone is welcome to promote our site http://ubuntu-africa.info

    Stephen Michael Kellat: Bad Tech Coming

    Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 17:00

    In general, I don't like talking about products that haven't even had their formal presentations yet at places like DEF CON. As reported in The Register, a gentleman at Rhino Security named Benjamin Caudill created hardware to provide a 900 MHz remote bridge to a distant Wi-Fi network. Wired also takes time to write about this.

    There are many, many, many problems with this. If anything I could write an entire "occasional paper" for presentation about this. While the security expert in question may have designed this system it runs afoul of FCC regulations in the United States at the barest minimum. Part 15 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations has many provisions that deal with unlicensed devices like this proposed hardware proxy that also stipulate hard power limits.

    Having a 125 milliwatt signal carry for a mile is under rather optimal conditions considering that the device would be a secondary user of the frequency band and legally required to shut down if it interfered with licensed users let alone the primary Industrial/Scientific/Medical device users of the the band. In general it seems like 47 CFR 15.247 might apply. This section deals with spread spectrum hopping and how broad of a frequency range signals can hop over. For faster speeds via RF links you need broader RF signals that measure in the megahertz wide. If you have narrower bandwidth restrictions (not to be confused with wired broadband throughput), you are assured of not having a fast link.

    Running outside the rules and playing poorly in the radio band is generally not tolerated. Amateur Radio (a.k.a "ham radio") operators use 902-928 MHz in ITU Region 2. For our discussion's purposes ITU Region 2 can be defined as the Americas, the Caribbean, Greenland, and some but not all islands in the eastern Pacific. Amateur Radio operators also engage in transmitter hunting which is a form of Radio Direction Finding for sport. Anybody misusing one of these devices is likely to be found easily by Amateur Radio operators and be reported to authorities. Considering the heavy transmitter duty cycle in maintaining a constant link with a remote head would mean this system would be an easier target to locate than most games of transmitter hunting played with weak-signal, intermittent, well-hidden transmitters.

    In short, I'm not a programmer. The FCC still feels that I'm allowed to play with up to 1.5 kilowatts of transmitting power on a variety of bands to communicate as an Amateur Radio Operator. Far less complicated methods of making transmissions via radio do exist that reduce chances of being caught. Ary Boender has an entire website devoted to clandestine transmissions and there is an entire forum devoted to discussing these things. The Lincolnshire Poacher served its purpose for many years. Why ignore tradition and history when it shows far less complicated ways of accomplishing things?

    Nekhelesh Ramananthan: Stepping out for a while

    Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 15:14

    Contributing to the Ubuntu Touch has been one of the most incredible journeys that I have undertaken. Working late nights during the weekend while coordinating with other developers on IRC, meeting new people, taking on responsibility for important stuff on the phone were some of the perks of being a core apps developer. For the first time I was able to truly experience being part of a community. It was also during this time that I got my Ubuntu membership.

    I think I have been contributing for about 2 years since Ubuntu Touch was announced and I am slowly starting to feel a sense of restlessness and am afraid of burning out. I am feeling a bit pressurized and desperately need a break before I explode. I am also at a critical point in my life where I need to step away and focus on my personal life.

    This has been one of the hardest things for me to admit, because of how much I loved hacking on Ubuntu Touch. However It gives me an immense sense of pride when using the BQ E4.5 as my daily phone because of my involvement in making it a reality, however small that contribution was in the grand scheme of things.

    I suspect that I may be gone for about a year to sort out my personal life. But hopefully this break will give me a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm when I return. I think there are 2 sides of the coin here, i.e. being a developer and a consumer. Up until now, I have been a developer working to improve the platform. Now I will be on the other side of the table as a consumer using Ubuntu Touch on a daily basis and reading news as an outsider ;)

    Over the next few days, I will spend my time trying to make this transition easier for my colleagues friends by transferring my personal bazaar branches to project branches that any other team member could take over and finish the work.

    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

    Ubuntu GNOME: Feedback Time – Thank you

    Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 12:50

    Hi,

    10 days ago, we have asked our great community to share their opinion regarding both Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu GNOME 15.04. During these 10 days, 500 users have shared their opinion – WOW!

    Ubuntu GNOME Team would like to thank each and everyone who had taken the time to read and answer our questions.

    This is to announce the end of collection/receiving feedback from our lovely community. Soon (hopefully), we shall share the results and right after that, we shall start planning for 15.10 as per your feedback.

    We highly appreciate your help, support and direct contribution to make Ubuntu GNOME even better, Community wise and Distribution wise.

    Please note: we have stopped accepting responses.

    Thank you!

    Sujeevan Vijayakumaran: Review Meizu MX4 - Ubuntu Edition

    Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 02:20

    Since the end of June one can buy the Meizu MX4 in the EU, if you manage to get an invite. I'm in the group of the „Ubuntu Phone Insiders“ and got the device a few of weeks ago. It's time for a review!

    A few months back I did a long review of the bq Aquaris E4.5. The Meizu MX4 is the third available Ubuntu Phone, next to the Aquaris E4.5 and the Aquaris E5, both from bq. The MX4 is the first device from the chinese manufacturer Meizu.

    The Software

    I've already covered all the software features in my review of the Aquaris E4.5. The software on both phones is pretty much the same. The installed apps and scopes are the same. Over the last couple of months Canonical rolled out a few updates of the system, this included the update of the base system from 14.10 to 15.04 Vivid Vervet. Many bugs were fixed and many features were added. Therefore, this article doesn't mention many software features.

    All software features which are associated with the hardware of the MX4 itself, are mentioned in the upcoming sections.

    Hardware The Screen

    One of the best things about this device is the screen. The size of the screen is pretty big at 5,36 inches. It has a high resolution of 1920 x 1152 pixels which results in a pixel density of ~418 ppi. The Aquaris E4.5 on the other side has 240 ppi on a 4.5 inch screen.

    Besides the numbers, the screen is truly very great. The fonts, the photos and also app icons are pretty sharp on this screen. Also, the brightness and the colors are excellent.

    On the other hand, the user interface doesn't yet make the most out of the high resolution. App icons and fonts are pretty huge, the App Scope e.g. only shows three app icons next to each other. This will be hopefully fixed with the next OTA software update. So you can expect that the higher resolution will be better used in the near future.

    The Camera

    Next to the display, the camera is another thing which is great. It makes photos with 20,7 Megapixels and the photos are pretty good! The camera of the Aquaris E4.5 makes washy photos with a low color reproduction even on good lighting conditions. The MX4 on the other side even makes good photos in low light conditions.

    There is one disadvantage though: The camera doesn't seem to focus properly in low light conditions. Therefore, pictures get blurred pretty easily.

    Mobile data and WiFi

    Many people criticised the missing LTE support on the bq Aquaris E4.5. The MX4 does support the LTE frequencies used by european network providers. It also supports HSDPA. The phone has one Micro SIM slot on the backside, you have to remove the back cover to insert the sim card.

    There is obviously also WiFi available. The automatic switch between mobile data and WiFi is really buggy, it often happens that the device doesn't connect automatically to the saved WiFi Access-Points, even if they're available. If you manually click on the WiFi Access-Point then it does connect normally. Similar things happen the other way around: sometimes it says that you're still connected to the WiFi, even if you moved out of coverage. I hope this will be fixed in the near future.

    Battery life

    The battery has a capacity of 3100 mAh. It powers the MediaTek Octa-Core CPU, 2GB of RAM and the big display. Sadly there is a bug in the system, which consumes too much energy even if you the phone is idling in standby. Therefore the battery often discharges very fast. A similar bug was also present on the Aquaris E4.5, but that one was fixed a few weeks before it got delivered to the first customers.

    You can remove the back cover of the phone, but the battery cannot be removed.

    Haptics and Quality

    The overall finish is great. The frame and the backside are made of aluminium. The device isn't creaking on any point. It has a higher build quality than the Aquaris E4.5. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 which should be scratch-resistant. Anyway my phone got a few scratches after I carried it in my pocket for a few weeks. The glass on the camera on the other side is protected by a Saphire Glass. Also, the back cover got a small scratch. There are three hardware buttons on the device: two volume buttons and the power button. The volume buttons are on the left side and the power button at the top. The position of the latter is a disadvantage because you can't easily reach it with a finger. There also is a soft home button below the display.

    Even if the device is pretty big, it feels comfortable in my hand. At the beginning you have to be carefully to get used to the slippery back. Otherwise you might drop it.

    Performance

    The phone is powered by a MediaTek Octa-Core CPU. It has four ARM Cortex-A17 cores and four ARM Cortex-A7 cores. It follows the big.LITTLE CPU architecture. The higher powered cores are only used when they are really needed, otherwise the lower powered cores are being used. This results in a lower overall power consumption.

    Theoretically the CPU can be pretty fast. In practice the system isn't as fast as you might expect when compared to high end Android phones. There are still many stutters when you switch between scopes. The start-up time for apps is still relatively high at roughly three seconds.

    The device has 2 GB of RAM, but it seems that apps are often killed and automatically restarts when you switch between them. This is another bug which is currently worked on, but it really is annoying for the end user.

    Conclusion

    Actually the device has pretty good hardware, particularly the display is really good. The sad thing is, that the software isn't in a satisfying state. The Aquaris E4.5 definitely has much better software support than the MX4. For example there is the soft home button below the display which also includes the notification LED, which is actually not working right now. When you press the button, you switch to the first scope. This is actually a breach with the Ubuntu Phone UX design, which doesn't need any buttons besides the power and volume keys. One often accidentally presses the home button when one use a bottom edge gesture.

    Another big problem is the overheat of the device. Even if you only use the phone for a couple of minutes it heats up extremely. It's not happening all the time, but if you play games or use the browser for example, then the temperature goes up to beyond 40°C.

    Besides of all the negative points, the MX4 is still faster than the Aquaris E4.5 on a daily usage. The apps are starting faster, but many elements of the system are still laggy and stuttering, similar to the Aquaris E4.5. It seems for me, that the MX4 didn't get much love from the developers compared to the E4.5. The latter device has a far better hardware support. Many things will be hopefully fixed with the upcoming updates. The issues with the battery and the WiFi-Connection are one of the things which are annoying every day. Anyway the MX4 will be in my pocket next to my Nexus 4 with Android. The bq Aquaris E4.5 was mostly off and at home. I really love the screen and the camera and I hope that software will get better over time!

    Sam Hewitt: Some Thoughts on Apple Music

    Planet Ubuntu - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 08:00

    Yes, I'm going to talk about Apple Music, like literally everyone else online these days.

    So I cancelled my premium Spotify subscription after using Apple Music for literally a few days, mainly for one reason: integration. Apple Music managed to combine my existing music library with streaming and their new "revolutionary" *eye roll* radio in such a way that it's more convenient than Spotify.

    As iTunes is always open & playing while I'm working on something it became simpler for me to switch from my music to streaming with the Apple Music integration, than to open Spotify.

    I'm essentially buying into Apple's media empire even more.

    The New Music App

    I mostly use Apple Music on my iPad and while I'm not going to pick on the app UI too much, as this post is about Apple Music the service, it is rather convoluted especially when you're trying to find music. Where there used to be a breakdown of your music library, there's now Apple Music related tabs.

    For You

    Essentially this curates various playlists and suggestions based on "what you love" –songs that you heart– and your chosen preferences (and maybe your iCloud Music library). It's been pretty relevant for me as, but I still get some out-of-place suggestions such as hip-hop, which is a genre that I'm not that into.

    But, I suspect as they collect more data from me it'll get better.

    New

    It's not so much "new" as it is top or featured albums, playlists and songs available for streaming. Basically, it's a discovery tab or a "streaming store" as it's similar to the existing iTunes Store layout.

    But what's available seems to be heavily weighed towards what's popular or trending.


    Radio

    Aside from being a giant showcase for Beats 1, there's a bunch of genre and "mood" stations that are nice if you're not that picky and just want to let music play –which is nothing that new. But you can now start "stations" from songs in your library or from Apple Music, for example the "Freedom Radio" in this screenshot.


    Connect

    Mostly useless –I couldn't care less what popular artists are up to (as popular artists are invariably the only ones who will use it to some significance) or sharing. But if you're into that, sure.

    A potential useful aspect, however, is in following curators who post playlists that may have some merit, but so far I've not used Connect.

    Playlists

    This tab is self-explanatory, it has all your pre-existing playlists that you've created or imported into your iCloud Music Library. I'm not a big playlist creator so I've not much use for this.


    My Music

    Your music library –duh.

    Apple integrated iTunes Match into Apple Music or iCloud –I dunno– but it's now called iCloud Music Library. (iCloud stuff has always been unclear.) iTunes basically matched my local music library with Apple Music's and/or uploaded mismatched tracks and they all appear here now, which is nice.

    "Play this Siri"

    Music's integration with Siri is fantastic and makes up for what's lacking in-app for finding songs. You just ask Siri to play any specific album, song or artist (I've yet to stump her) and it plays right away.

    Human Radio on Beats 1

    Beats 1 is the most compelling thing about Apple Music and it's largest differentiator, when compared with other services. It adds personality to the service by having live people host shows and play music that's to their tastes or that they feel deserves being played. It's also quite obvious that with Beats 1, Apple wants to be a trendsetter for music.

    The shows on Beats 1 are varied enough to get a range in listening options when you tune in and you can hear the differences in music tastes of the various hosts, which diversifies the service for difference audiences. The nicest surprise for me was hearing some of the more niche items from my personal library airing on Beats 1 –which you'd never hear on other radio stations. Also, the lack of annoying ads –except for the rare few second interstitial saying "Beats 1 is made possible by..." (whom I'm convinced is Eddie Izzard)– and the usual annoying radio gimmicks is also nice.

    If you're not using a streaming service and you have an Apple device/computer, Apple Music is a no-brainer –and this is definitely how Apple will get immediate market penetration, by giving it to everyone with an iDevice. Besides you might as well avail yourself of the free 3 month trial and see if you'll stick with it for your streaming solution –that is, if you're into streaming in the first place.

    But if you're on something other streaming service, and you're not that into Apple or have no interest in some of Apple Music's differentiating features, than don't bother switching. All these services have seem to have the same ~30 million song library.

    Sam Hewitt: Aeropress, My New Coffee Brewing Favourite

    Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 14:55

    The Aeropress is rather a cult coffee brewer and few non-coffee-nuts know about it. But from the first cup of coffee I brewed with it, I was hooked. I now use it regularly for making coffee and my French press has been relegated to the back of the cupboard. #sorrynotsorry

    The Aeropress' brilliance is in its simplicity and ease-of-brew. Measure in your coffee, briefly steep your grounds in the main chamber and then plunge the coffee through a paper filter directly into a mug. Cleanup is simple: unlock & remove the filter cap, press out the coffee puck + paper filter then rinse/wipe off the plunger. Simple.

    As for brew quality, if you're consistent, it's consistent. It doesn't make the greatest cup I've ever had, but it does produce a nice, smooth cup of coffee and you can vary that quite a bit with ground levels and types.

    The Aeropress' design is rather underwhelming which may make you skeptical of its capabilities. It is (to borrow a Jony Ive-ism) unapologetically plastic. Which, I suspect, makes it more durable and keeps it relatively inexpensive –you can get one for around 30$USD

    The take away: it consistently brews a great cup of coffee, it takes only a few seconds to clean and it has a plethora of accessories and brewing variations –if you're into that.

    The Fridge: Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) reaches End of Life on July 23, 2015

    Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 14:40

    Ubuntu announced its 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) release almost 9 months ago, on October 23, 2014. As a non-LTS release, 14.10 has a 9-month month support cycle and, as such, the support period is now nearing its end and Ubuntu 14.10 will reach end of life on Thursday, July 23rd. At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 14.10.

    The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 14.10 is via Ubuntu 15.04. Instructions and caveats for the upgrade may be found at:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VividUpgrades

    Ubuntu 15.04 continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes. Announcements of security updates for Ubuntu releases are sent to the ubuntu-security-announce mailing list, information about which may be found at:

    https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-security-announce

    Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users in homes, schools, businesses and governments around the world. Ubuntu is Open Source software, costs nothing to download, and users are free to customise or alter their software in order to meet their needs.

    Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Fri Jul 3 13:00:54 UTC 2015 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

    Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) reaches End of Life on July 23, 2015

    The Fridge - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 14:40

    Ubuntu announced its 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) release almost 9 months ago, on October 23, 2014. As a non-LTS release, 14.10 has a 9-month month support cycle and, as such, the support period is now nearing its end and Ubuntu 14.10 will reach end of life on Thursday, July 23rd. At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 14.10.

    The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 14.10 is via Ubuntu 15.04. Instructions and caveats for the upgrade may be found at:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VividUpgrades

    Ubuntu 15.04 continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes. Announcements of security updates for Ubuntu releases are sent to the ubuntu-security-announce mailing list, information about which may be found at:

    https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-security-announce

    Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users in homes, schools, businesses and governments around the world. Ubuntu is Open Source software, costs nothing to download, and users are free to customise or alter their software in order to meet their needs.

    Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Fri Jul 3 13:00:54 UTC 2015 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

    Kubuntu Wire: Looks as if Wily got Plasma 5.3.2.

    Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 07:06

     

    No backports PPA required.

    Plasma 5.3.2.

    Daily Wily Images.

    Nekhelesh Ramananthan: Announcing the MX4 Challenge Winner

    Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 05:05

    Hello everyone, I am thrilled to announce the winner of the Meizu MX4 Challenge! In the interest of being open, I thought I would share a bit on how we arrived at the winner. We received 10 submissions for the challenge and while that may not seem like a lot, I was personally looking for quality submissions, proven track-record of previous contributions and trying to bring developers and designers on the same playing field. And so in the process created strict rules and requirements that reduced the amount of people who could enter the challenge.

    I reviewed the past contributions of the participants and checked whether they took the effort to present their apps nicely in the store and keep them updated. I observed that there were some apps that did not have screenshots or a proper description to help the user. Many a times I also found brilliant apps in the store that people start relying on, only later to notice that they have been abandoned. All these things affect users and I emphasised on them for this challenge.

    It is not the amount of apps that you have in the store that matter, but rather the effort you put into making your app the best.

    The contest submissions were reviewed by Alan Pope and myself. I must admit that at the end finding a winner was a bit difficult considering that a few of the participants and their submissions were quite good. Luckily I had Alan Pope to help me with breaking the tie.

    I wish I had more devices to give away but alas there is just the one Meizu MX4 ;)

    So without further ado,

    Drum roll ... the winner is Brian Douglass!

    Brian is the developer of the well know alternative ubuntu app store Uapp Explorer that we all have come to admire and is used by pretty much everyone to discover new apps, share public links to their apps.

    For the contest, he created a UApp Explorer scope. You can check out the screenshots below.

    Given the amount of time the developers and designers had to take part in the challenge, I am happy with the submissions and thank all the participants for their effort. I hope you would continue improving on the stuff that you worked on and help improve the Ubuntu Touch ecosystem.

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