Is your home wireless network secure? On a drive about town, I noticed that about one fifth of home routers are completely open and perhaps half are under-secured.
Used to be, this was because home users didn't know how to configure their routers. But now, Comcast is
turning home networks
into public hotspots unless customers -- few of whom even know about this -- specifically opt out.
discusses the problems with this.
U.S. courts may hold you responsible if someone uses your wireless network -- without your knowledge or permission -- to illegally download music, movies, or software. People have even been raided by
and convicted for downloading
Is Comcast's project a bold move towards free wi-fi everywhere? Or is it a security outrage?
Meanwhile, here's a simple tutorial
on how to secure your home wireless network.
Over the past several years, mobile devices have greatly influenced user interfaces. That's great for handheld users but leaves those of us who rely on laptops and desktops in the lurch. Windows 8, Ubuntu Unity, and GNOME have all radically changed in ways that leave personal computer users scratching their heads.
One user interface completely avoided this controversy: Xfce. This review takes a quick look at Xfce today. Who is this product for? Who should pass it by?
Remember back when GNOME and KDE dominated Linux desktops? Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? Yet it was only three years ago, in April 2011, that GNOME 3
was released. Its
radically redesigned interface shook up everyone. Some eagerly adopted it. Others left GNOME.
In this brief review I take a fresh look at GNOME today, as it's currently distributed in several popular Linux distributions.
Like many of you, I've been watching the big changes in user interfaces over the past few years, trying to make sense of them all. Is there a common explanation for the controversies surrounding the Windows 8 UI and Unity? Where do GNOME 3, KDE, Cinnamon, and MATE fit in? This article offers one view.
I volunteer as tech support for a small organization. For years we relied on Ubuntu on our desktops, but the users didn't like it when Ubuntu switched to the Unity interface. This article tells about our search for a replacement and why we decided on Xfce running atop Linux Mint.
Like many OSNews readers, I use Ubuntu. I also use several less popular distros. What is it like to use these lesser-known distros compared to the dominant systems? How does running, say, VectorLinux or Puppy or PC-BSD, differ from using Ubuntu or Fedora? This article offers a few ideas. Obviously, it broadly generalizes about distros for the purpose of discussion.
Remember OS/2? Promoted as the successor to DOS in the late 1980's and
early 1990's, the product wound up losing out to Windows and then slowly fading away.
This article recounts what happened and summarizes OS/2 today.
Last month, I explained
why I use generic desktops and laptops running open source software.
and inexpensive. But this presumes you can fix them. I believe that
even those with no
hardware training (like me), can identify and fix most hardware
problems. To prove it, here's a quick guide. Feel free to
add whatever I've missed.
Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
In the United States, state and local authorities are in charge of
voting and the country uses more than a half dozen different voting technologies.
As a result, the country can't guarantee that it accurately counts national votes
in a timely fashion. This article discusses the problem and potential solutions to the U.S. voting dilemma.
Here's a topic guaranteed to start controversy. Which Linux distribution is best? It all depends on your criteria for judging. Even then the topic is highly subjective. Here are a few nominees for "best distro" in specific categories.
The dream of inexpensive computing for everyone has been with us since
the first computers. Along the way it has taken some unexpected turns.
This article summarizes key trends and a few of the surprises.
Like Ubuntu's Unity interface? Great. If not, you can easily change it to look and act like Ubuntu used to. This tutorial shows how.
In the past year I've reviewed four lightweight Linuxes for OS News: VectorLinux, Puppy Linux, Lubuntu, and Damn Small Linux. This article compares the four distributions. I invite your comments in response: what are your own experiences with these and competing lightweight distros?
Smartphones have become the preferred computer of the masses. Sales surpassed
those of personal computers in 2010, having grown over 50% per year for
several years. Nearly 500 million smartphones shipped
in 2011. This radically shifts the terrain in the consumer operating
system competition that was, for years, firmly decided in favor of
Windows. This article analyzes the New OS Wars.
VectorLinux is one of those useful but lesser-known Linux distros. It's
been around since 1999 and I've used it since 2006, off and on, in the
role of a secondary OS. Now, with the disruptive changes
Ubuntu forces on its user base with each new release, I've found myself
increasingly attracted to Vector's stability and convenience. This
article introduces "VL" to those who may not be familiar with it.
My previous article
analyzed some tech companies and their prospects: Microsoft, Intel,
Dell, Oracle, Apple, and Google. This article discusses IBM, Amazon,
Yahoo!, Cisco, and BMC Software. The goal is to spark a
. What is your
opinion of these companies? Do they have viable strategies for the
Current computers use SATA disk drives. Pentium IV's and earlier
computers used the IDE
drive standards. How can you intermix SATA and IDE disk drives? This article discusses the options. It is the next in my series of articles
Why do people troll? Can we prevent trolling or limit the damage trolls do? Here are some thoughts on trollology derived from academic studies and web research.
Without corporate backing or advertising, Puppy
has become one of the world's ten most popular
Linux distributions. In the
past few months
Puppy has whelped a litter of like systems, each with its own unique
DNA. This article summarizes Puppy and then describes the