If Linux won't install on your laptop, blame Intel not Microsoft

Why won’t Linux install on modern Lenovo laptops? The discovery of this problem set off a recent firestorm. But contrary to initial speculation, it’s not that Microsoft is forcing Lenovo to block the installation of Linux on its laptops. It’s that Intel isn’t making modern hardware compatible with Linux.

Intel needs to provide better Linux support

The reason Linux won’t install on Lenovo’s laptops is a technical one. As Lenovo explained: “To improve system performance, Lenovo is leading an industry trend of adopting RAID on the SSDs in certain product configurations... Unsupported models will rely on Linux operating system vendors releasing new kernel and drivers to support features such as RAID on SSD.”

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Chrome 53 gets Web Bluetooth as Google phases out Chrome apps

Google is getting rid of Chrome apps, and that means the browser is becoming more powerful. Experimental support for Web Bluetooth is available in Chrome 53 today, allowing websites to connect directly to nearby Bluetooth devices without any apps required.

Experimental Web Bluetooth is already here

“It is prime time for Web Bluetooth,” writes Google Developer Expert Uri Shaked on Medium. The recently released Chrome 53 contains an “origin trial” for Web Bluetooth. Website developers can register their sites with Google in order to use this experimental feature today.

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Chromebooks are getting pressure-sensitive touchscreens

iPhone and some modern Android phones have pressure-sensitive touchscreens, and Chromebooks are soon to join them. Recent changes to Chrome OS’s source code show Google is working on support for pressure-sensitive touchscreens, or what’s known as “3D Touch” on Apple’s iPhone.

Android is getting this feature soon, too

This change was first spotted by Chrome Unboxed. It noticed that Chrome OS’s developers have been adding support for touchscreens made by Melfas, a Korean company. More interestingly, the source code for the Melfas touchscreen driver includes references to two types of touch: “Touch only” and “Touch + Force(Pressure).”

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Reports of OpenOffice's death have been greatly exaggerated

Don’t believe everything you read in the press. Despite OpenOffice developers recently debating a shutdown of the open source productivity suite, the Apache Software Foundation is not ready to retire the project yet.

OpenOffice is not a ‘healthy project’

The Apache OpenOffice project isn’t done yet. On the mailing list, contributors are actively discussing what could be done to improve the project.

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Spotify mails it in on Linux app

Spotify launched a native Linux client back in 2010, bringing its music streaming service to the Linux desktop. While Spotify has continued releasing new versions of its Linux application, the company hasn’t had a dedicated Linux developer in a year.

No dedicated Linux developer 

In March 2016, Spotify representative “Jooon” revealed that “after September, we have had no developers working on the Linux client.” It’s now September 2016, so Spotify has been without a dedicated Linux developer for a year. “This version is unsupported,” reads Spotify’s description of its own Linux client.

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Adobe revives Flash for Firefox on Linux after four-year lag

Adobe just pulled a major about-face. After axing the NPAPI Flash plugin used by Firefox and other browsers on Linux in 2012, Adobe has decided to begin updating it again and to keep it updated after the previously announced 2017 end-of-life date.

Expect security improvements, not new features

The NPAPI version of Flash for Linux, used by Firefox and other browsers, has been stuck at version 11.2 since 2012. Adobe also axed its Adobe Reader and Adobe AIR software for Linux. Adobe’s been providing security updates for Flash since then, but promised it would stop doing so in 2017.

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Google's Fuchsia OS is out in the open and shrouded in mystery

Google is developing a new operating system named Fuchsia, and the early source code is already public. Google itself and Fuchsia’s developers haven’t explained what the OS is for—but we can dig into the source code to learn more.

Pink + Purple == Fuchsia

Fuchsia is a new, open-source operating system being worked on by Google employees. “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System),” reads the cryptic description on the project’s GitHub page. The source code is also available on GitHub, as well as on Google Source.

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