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2014 User Experiences

Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm


One of the advantages (and sometimes confusing) aspects of Free Software and open source software is the choice of user experiences (UX). Desktop choices include Gnome (and derivatives including Mate, Cinnamon & Unity), KDE, LXDE and XFCE. Google’s Android UX and derivatives are perhaps even more popular now. The fragmentation of end user communities is specifically allowed by the licenses these groups choose for their software and the licenses of the underlying software.

Coming up April 17th Canonical and the community are scheduled to release 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr. 14.04′s Gnome derived Unity experience is designed to transcend the phone, tablet, desktop and television form factors. 14.04 LTS is also enabled for phones and tablets which is called the Touch UI. You can try the Touch UI by installing 14.04 on at least the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. California 14.04 release parties in San Francisco and Fullerton are developing as mentioned on the BerkeleyLUG email list and many others throughout the world organized by local communities. Please consider yourself invited.

In five years every TV may have an Internet experience built in. The need for a separate device like the newly announced Amazon set top box Fire TV, Linux powered Roku, AppleTV or other device may go away. Not content with just millions of Chromecast dongle sales, last week The Verge broke a story on the heels of the Fire TV announcement that Google plans an Android TV. I hope user freedoms are preserved on these and future devices.

Other recent news also supports the move of the computing industry as it focuses on convergence and UX. Facebook recently purchased (wired, marketplace) Oculus VR. In recent weeks Microsoft announced it will be focusing on UIs that do not require keyboards and mice, they have released Office365 for the iPad and their Build 2014 annual developer conference (mobile, desktop and other platforms) in SF has just concluded. What user experiences and on what form factors do you compute?

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our email list.


Feb 2014 Software

Posted on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 10:16 am


2014-02-gtrends
Here’s what Google Trends (image at right) says are last month’s top search items for software technologies. Are these the ones you use most often?

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our list.


More Battery Life!

Posted on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm


Does your laptop or mobile battery last as long as you need it to? Mine do OK but longer is better. Here’s a Tech News Today show from this week that talks about solar power as a future solution as the technologies get better all the time.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our list.


Guns, Open Source and Bad Voltage

Posted on Friday, February 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm


Congratulations to our friends at badvoltage.org on launching and keeping their latest podcast adventure going strong for four months. Their most recent episode 1×08 talks about the timid topic of gun control which has relevance to some 3d-printer (1×06) enthusiasts. Let us know what you think here and/or post on their forums community.badvoltage.org powered by Discourse (1×05).

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month from noon to three in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station near the corner of University & Shattuck. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria and/or join the discussion on our list.


Python for Statistics

Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm


I got interested by this article tweeted by @darmesh about the declining use of the specialized statistical R-project.org environment and the increasing use of the Python language (overview) for big data scientific applications despite needing some work.

What types of code are you writing and what languages do you prefer these days?


Self Driving Cars

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm


Chris Peeples forwarded an article to our email list after mentioning it during our last Sunday meeting. “Auto Correct: Has the self-driving car at last arrived?” by Burkhard Bilger in The New Yorker. Google is improving on the technology every week, meeting for status updates each Monday at 11:30AM. They and others would like to eliminate the 1.24 million car accident fatalities each year worldwide and reduce the fifty million more that are injured.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.


Free, The Future of a Radical Price

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 7:18 am


Ignore these ideas at your own peril. Free, The Future of a Radical Price (2009) by Chris Anderson is available, not surprisingly, for free, gratis, no marginal cost. The google buzz is interesting too.

* books.google.com version
* Amazon has hardcover, paperback, kindle ebook and (gratis) audible.com versions

Mr. Anderson is a fellow resident of Berkeley and is also the author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution (2012) and The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business Is Selling Less Of More (2006). This TED bio is helpful and his first TED Talk recorded in 2004 is a prelude to his 2006 book.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.


Could Canonical Become Profitable? Yes

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 2:54 am


Here’s an arstechnica.com article providing some background and details.

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.


Social Sharing

Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 10:35 pm


We all want to share with each other. Twitter was created in 2006 and is a leading social networking service grown from combining the micro-blogs with Short Message Service (SMS). Facebook and other popular social networking services combine games, pictures and video with the Internet. "A 2011 survey found that 47% of American adults use a social networking service." [1] Social networks have been studied for decades as a subdiscipline of computer-mediated communication.

For BerkeleyLUG communication we use wordpress, groups.google.com for our email list, twitter, IRC and google+. What social networking services do you use?

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.


Why Linux Sucks 2009-2013

Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm


Do not be fooled by the provocative titles, these were informed and well done. Bryan Lunduke has given talks on this subject at LinuxFest Northwest. What do you think of them?

Our next meeting is Sun, October 13th. We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.








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