As the latest update to Android looms ever closer, we've got our eyes peeled for anything that may hint at what's to come. While most of that information comes to us through leaks or hidden surprises, sometimes it will try to hide in plain sight. Over the last few weeks, an increasing number of code commits have been made to the android-3.10 branch of the kernel/common project. As you might be able to guess from the names, kernel/common is the codebase from which every device kernel is eventually derived.
The Chromecast add-ons just keep coming, don't they? The latest tool to take advantage of Google's dirt-cheap media streamer is called Fling, from Plano, Texas developer Leon Nicholls. Unlike most of the tools from Koushik Dutta and others, this one expands Chromecast's desktop streaming powers. The Fling Java tool streams local video and audio files directly to Chromecast, and uses the popular VLC media player to transcode the ones that Chromecast doesn't support.
In the greater history of computer gaming, Linux is a relative newcomer, still missing out on quite a few AAA titles and only recently gaining access to Steam. While the library of games is growing for the open-sourced OS, the actual development process is still locked in to Windows. Most of the tools used for designing 3D models (e.g. Blender), landscapes, and other graphics have made the transition to Linux, but the primary coding tools are mysteriously absent.
Any self-respecting digital artist these days uses a graphics tablet to pipe pen input into PC applications. The problem is that good graphics tablets like the Wacom Intuos line are pretty spendy. If you've got an Android device lying around and like to use the GIMP image editor on Linux, you've got all you need for a basic graphics tablet setup thanks to a new app.
The XorgTablet app and driver developed by the gimpusers.com team allow you to select your Android tablet as an input device in GIMP.
Most of the file systems in use today were designed in an era when rotating discs ruled the world. Well, as things have shifted more toward NAND flash-based storage in mobile devices the problems with older file systems have been more visible. Samsung has just tackled the problem by designing a new file system called F2FS that's geared toward flash storage specifically. What's better, it is open source and has been submitted to the Linux kernel.
Script Kitty has actually been around for a while, but after receiving its 2.0 update last week, it's now a serious contender for one of those must-have apps (at least for anyone with an ssh-enabled server). I downloaded and set it up in a matter of a few minutes (including generating an RSA key for key-based auth and adding said key to a few Linux servers), and now have a stupid easy way of doing certain things very quickly without having to even resort to ConnectBot.
IDC's report for the first quarter of 2012 indicates that Google's Android continues to grow its market share to 59%, while Apple's iOS lags in second at 23%. Unsurprisingly Samsung has given the biggest boost to Android, accounting for a whopping 45.4% of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide.
In total 152.3 million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter of 2012, of which 89.9 million were Android-based smartphones (59%), 35.1 million were iOS devices (23%), 10.4 million were Symbian-based phones (6.8)%, followed by BlackBerry, Linux, and Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile devices.
Google Drive, if you haven't heard, is Google's Dropbox/Google Docs hybrid. It launched yesterday with 5GB of cloud storage and desktop apps for Windows and Mac, but our tuxedoed counterparts were left out in the cold.
The lack of Linux love caused a bit of an uproar on Google+, where #driveforlinux was a trending topic for a good part of the day.
It appears that Linux Tycoon, "the world's premier 'Linux Distribution Building Simulation Game'," will be gaining online play soon, and (more importantly) is officially headed for Android (and iOS).
In a blog post earlier today, Lunduke announced both of these exciting developments, and explained just how the game's new online capabilities will work: the mind behind "the nerdiest MMO ever conceived" will be releasing Linux Tycoon Server, allowing players to run their own "world" for online play separate from the official server, and also allowing for customization of the play experience including gameplay settings and Package lists.
Ok so I may have taken a few liberties there, but that's what we all want, right? One device that can do everything that we require of a computer throughout our daily lives. Smartphone by day, desktop by night.
Fortunately, we aren't the only ones who think that this is a great idea; the Ubuntu team has already announced plans to transform your smartphone into a proper computer when it's placed in a docking station, and with the release of Linux 3.3, this just got easier for OEMs to do as well.