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Intel Unveils Powerful Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel today launched its new Intel Xeon Scalable processors, providing businesses with breakthrough performance to handle compute-hungry tasks including real-time analytics, virtualized infrastructure and high-performance computing. Today's launch marks the greatest set of data center and network processor advancements in a decade.

"Data center and network infrastructure is undergoing massive transformations to support emerging use cases like precision medicine, artificial intelligence and agile network services paving the path to 5G," said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Data Center Group. "Intel Xeon Scalable processors represent the biggest data center advancement in a decade."

AMD Ryzen-optimized C and C++ Compilers Improve Performance

AMD followed up its Ryzen processor launch with support for the software development ecosystem by releasing special C and C++ compilers that let you make software that can fully take advantage of the "Zen" micro-architecture. The new AOCC 1.0 C/C++ compilers by AMD are based on LLVM Clang, with "Zen" specific patches. AMD claims AOCC offers improved vectorization and better code generation for "Zen" based CPUs. It also includes a "Zen" optimized linker.

Phoronix benchmarked AOCC against other more common compilers such as GCC 6.3, GCC 7.1, GCC 8, LLVM Clang 4.0, and LLVM Clang 5.0 using a Ryzen 7-1700 eight-core processor powered machine, running on Ubuntu 17.04 Linux, and found that AOCC offers higher performance than GCC in most cases, LLVM Clang in some cases, and marginally higher performance than LLVM Clang in some cases. Find more results in the link below.

Source: Phoronix.org

Fedora, Ubuntu, and SuSE Linux Available from Windows Store

That's right, Microsoft could soon distribute Linux. Popular PC Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and SuSE, could soon be available through the Windows Store. Microsoft made this startling announcement at its Build 2017 keynote. The idea here is to make Linux distributions available to power-users who want to run the operating systems in virtual machines, or install the OS in a manner that lets you run Linux applications directly on Windows 10.

There are still limits to what you can do with Linux you get from the Windows Store. For starters, the OS can't be installed on the host machine, in say, a separate partition/volume, which you can choose to boot from, using a bootloader such as GRUB. The download also doesn't directly expose the .iso installer disk image of your Linux distro. It could still be useful for developers seeking a turnkey Linux environment instantly for development or testing, or for schools to teach Linux.

Source: The Verge

Microsoft Entering Agreements with Laptop Makers to Block Linux

Digital freedom activists are up in arms over a discovery by Lenovo Yoga 900S and Yoga 710S users that you simply can't replace the pre-installed Windows 10 Signature Edition operating system with one of your choice, such as Linux. Redditor BaronHK tried installing Linux on their notebooks and couldn't, so a support ticket was raised with Lenovo to guide them to install Linux. Lenovo responded that the notebook features Windows 10 Signature Edition, and that "it has been locked as per Lenovo's agreement with Microsoft."

On the Yoga 900S and 710S, Lenovo deployed a proprietary soft-RAID setup that cannot be recognized by Linux installers. You can't even change the SATA controller mode in the BIOS setup program. Even Windows installations don't succeed without special F6_install drivers by Lenovo, and the company only provides drivers for Windows. Lenovo cannot argue that its hardware specifically requires Windows, because Live images of Linux, (such as Ubuntu) function just fine on these notebooks. It's just that you can't make your Live session permanent by installing Ubuntu on the device. Lenovo has since gone into full damage control and denial. It removed the thread from its support forums (view a cached copy), and even changed its explanation from "we blatantly admitted to anti-competitive practices that could cost us a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit" to "we simply don't have drivers for our deliberately unusual RAID setup."

Source: The Next Web

QNAP Partners with Canonical to Enhance NAS with Ubuntu OS

QNAP Systems, Inc. has announced today a partnership with Canonical. The partnership will provide an advanced platform for the development of services and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) using both Ubuntu and QTS operating systems. Canonical and QNAP will cooperate to provide, promote, and enable the creation of an ecosystem of IoT applications across home, SMB, and enterprises.

QNAP leverages its NAS operating system, QTS, with its built-in, mature, and comprehensive virtualization platform and further, integrates the Ubuntu operating system to provide a complete and familiar software development platform for software developers. Users are able to enjoy simultaneously the wide variety of apps from the QTS App Center, and diversified services available on Ubuntu.

ASRock Develops Mini-ITX LGA2011v3 Motherboard with Quad-Channel Memory

They've done it! After building the first LGA2011v3 motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, letting you cram up to 8 "Haswell" cores into a lunchbox-sized PC, albeit having to make do with just dual-channel memory; ASRock developed the first mini-ITX motherboard with not just LGA2011v3, but also its full quad-channel memory interface, called the EPC612D4I. There's just one rider, which shouldn't really be a dealbreaker - this is a server-grade motherboard, and is bound to be expensive.

The EPC612D4I achieves its quad-channel memory chops by using smaller DDR4 SO-DIMM slots instead of standard-sized DIMM slots. Availability of aftermarket DDR4 SO-DIMM memory is close to non-existent, but that could change with 6th Generation Core processor notebooks hitting the shelves by Holiday 2015. As an enterprise board, it also supports Xeon E5-1600 V3 and E5-2600 V3 processors.

Intel Compute Stick Now Available

The Intel Compute Stick, a new pocket-sized computer based on a quad-core Intel Atom processor running Windows 8.1 with Bing, is available now through Intel Authorized Dealers for much of the world.

The Intel Compute Stick can transform any HDMI display into an entry computer capable of working with productivity apps, playing local or streamed content, driving basic digital signage or enabling thin clients. It will support Wireless 802.11 b/g/n, a microSD card for expandable memory, MicroUSB power supply and Bluetooth 4.0 for keyboard and mouse.

Cirrus7 Intros nimbini Chassis for Intel Broadwell NUC

Building on the success of its Nimbus NUC case with a stackable laser-cut aluminium sheet design, Cirrus7 introduced the nimbini, for Intel's latest Core "Broadwell" NUC system boards. The case features the same aluminium sheet stack design, and its thick aluminium sheets double up as heatsink for the CPU and PCH. It's available as both a case, or as a complete DIY kit with Windows or Ubuntu pre-installed. This kit, however, comes with over 90 parts, and you have to manually put it all together. As a case, the nimbini is game for Intel's 28W "Broadwell" Core M chips with Iris Graphics i7. Cirrus7 is expected to start pre-orders later this months, shipping begins in May.

Source: FanlessTech

ECS Launches LIVA-X Mini PC

Elitegroup Computer System (ECS) is proud to introduce the latest mini PC - LIVA X, a fan-less design, quiet and low power consumption small-size computer. Adopting Intel Bay-Trail M SOC and 15W ultra-low power design; supporting Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Linux, and Ubuntu operating systems, as well. LIVA X supports USB 3.0 port, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth wireless connection technology. End users can upgrade storage capacity via mSATA SSD. Most importantly is the size of LIVA X ringing in at only half a liter! LIVA X Mini PC brings a whole new PC experience to the world.

The LIVA X features a no noise thermal design, providing a real silent Mini-PC. Enjoy it without any noise. Thanks to Intel new Bay Trail-M SOC 22nm processor. LIVA X features ultra-low power consumption, only 1/10 traditional desktop usage.

AMD's SeaMicro SM15000 Server Sets Record for Hyperscale OpenStack Clouds

AMD today announced that its SeaMicro SM15000 server set a significant industry benchmark record for hyperscale cloud computing with a demonstration that highlights how OpenStack can quickly and reliably provision on-demand computing services at scale. The test provisioned 168,000 virtual machines on 576 physical hosts. The first 75,000 virtual machines were deployed in six hours and thirty minutes. This is the largest known demonstration of OpenStack scalability ever. AMD achieved the record in collaboration with Canonical using the Ubuntu OpenStack (Icehouse) distribution. MaaS (Metal as a Service), part of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu OpenStack, was used to deliver the bare metal servers, storage and networking. The solution is available today and is the most scalable, automated application for deploying OpenStack in hyperscale environments.

"This record validates that the SeaMicro SM15000 is well suited for massive OpenStack deployments," said Dhiraj Mallick, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Data Center Server Solutions. "The combination of Ubuntu OpenStack and the SeaMicro SM15000 server provides the industry's leading solution to build cloud infrastructure that is highly responsive and ideal for on-demand services."

Tranquil PC and Mark Shuttleworth Launch Ubuntu Orange Box

At the end of November 2013, Ubuntu / Canonical contacted Tranquil PC to commission the design and manufacture of what would become known as 'The Orange Box'. Today, 13th May 2014, Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth launches the product to the world at OpenStack (Atlanta).

The Orange Box is an innovative, custom designed micro cluster chassis, envisioned by Canonical, and contract manufactured by TranquilPC Limited. The chassis includes a small cluster of Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) boards, and is particularly well suited for portable demonstration and local prototyping of cloud workloads. The Orange Box, manufactured in the UK to exacting standards is available to order and ships internationally (free of charge). For more information, visit this page.

Dell Intros Upgraded Ubuntu-Powered XPS 13 Developer Edition Laptop

Dell has this week updated its Linux offering by releasing the new XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop running Ubuntu. Codenamed Sputnik 3, this new client-to-cloud solution comes with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS pre-installed and features a 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit touch display, an Intel Haswell processor (Core i5-4200U or i7-4500U), 8 GB of RAM, Intel HD 4400 graphics, a 128/256 GB mSATA solid state drive, a spill-resistant backlit chiclet keyboard, an HD webcam, Bluetooth, 802.11ac WiFi, and a 55WHr battery.

The XPS 13 Developer Edition is currently only available in the US (starting at $1,249) but will expand its reach quickly - next week it will go on sale in Canada, and by the end of the month it will also be found in 9 European countries.

Canonical Introduces Ubuntu 13.10

Canonical today announces the availability of Ubuntu 13.10 for desktop and smartphone. Ubuntu's first true mobile release delivers the streamlined core OS and mobile user interface that pave the way for full device convergence and create a unique platform for modern computing.

"This is a milestone in Ubuntu's history; the exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms," said Rick Spencer, who leads Ubuntu's consumer-facing engineering. "Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence."

Dell Announces Latitude 3330 Notebook for Schools

Dell today launched the Latitude 3330, designed to help schools and educators teach tomorrow's leaders while providing excellent value school districts. The new laptop offers the robust computing features required to maximize learning productivity, compatibility with Dell's existing solutions and services for education and support for personalized learning opportunities in the classroom.

A snap to deploy, the Latitude 3330 easily integrates into a school's existing IT infrastructure, speeding up time to classroom and saving time and money. It's sleek, lightweight, and sturdy design stands up to the demands of even the youngest of students, fits easily on classroom desks and in backpacks and moves easily from classroom to classroom or home and back. The new laptop offers no compromise performance with full laptop productivity and all day battery life with a 6-cell battery.

FXI Accelerates Development for ARM Cortex CPUs & ARM Mali GPUs with Cotton Candy

FXI, pioneer of the Cstick Any Screen Micro Computer, announced today that it releases a full system solution for ARM Linux and Android developers on its Cotton Candy device platform, targeting developers. The agreement and close collaboration with ARM will enable FXI to take full advantage of the resources of the Mali development community, while providing an easy to use, innovative development platform for Mali GPU developers. Existing owners of the Cotton Candy device can download development versions of Ubuntu Linux for ARM v12.04 and Android 4.0 in both source and binary forms by visiting this page. Developers can get Cotton Candy from here.

FXI is working closely with ARM to take full advantage of the capabilities of the ARM Mali-400 MP GPU (and other ARM technologies). The Cotton Candy Any Screen IP enables developers to work with the Cotton Candy device inserted in their PC and develop with their existing tool chains directly on the Cotton Candy. The combination of the ARM Cortex-A9 and Mali-400 MP can be found in a wide range of devices ranging from smartphones, tablets and smart TVs. By using Cotton Candy, which also uses this combination, developers can target a wide range of Cortex processors and Mali GPU based platforms —or for Cotton Candy itself— can develop on actual market leading Mali silicon.

Steam for Linux Beta Now Available

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the launch of a limited access beta for its new Steam for Linux client.

The Steam for Linux Beta client supports the free-to-play game Team Fortress 2. Approximately two dozen additional Steam titles are now also available for play on Linux systems. Additionally, the Steam for Linux Beta client includes Big Picture, the mode of Steam designed for use with a TV and controller, also currently in beta.

Valve Seeks Beta Testers for Steam for Linux

You can now sign up to test Steam for Linux, with Valve announcing an open Beta of the client. Valve is looking for users with generally high experience with Linux, so don't expect the Beta to be click-and-run. Interested users with Ubuntu 12.04 (and above) can sign up here. Steam for Linux targets Ubuntu, and the company plans to launch the platform with Left 4 Dead 2 with SteamPlay enabled, porting other Valve titles later.

Source: GameInformer

ASUS Readies the F201E 11.6-inch Netbooks

Next week ASUS will be rekindling the netbook flame with the release of the F201E trio. The F201E models feature a 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) display, a 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2/4 GB of RAM, a 320/500 GB hard drive, a 0.3-megapixel webcam, a 3-in-1 card reader, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, and a 5,200 mAh battery enabling up to 5 hours of operation.

The cheapest of the F201E lot, priced at €299, runs Ubuntu and has 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB HDD. The same specs, paired up with Windows 8, cost €359. Last but not least, there's a €329 model with 2 GB of RAM and a 320 GB hard drive.

Source: Mobile Geeks

Ubuntu 12.10 Launches Today

Canonical today announces the desktop version of Ubuntu 12.10, the latest release of the popular open source operating system, will be available for public download on the 18th October 2012. As part of Canonical's objective to make all content easier to access, Ubuntu 12.10 introduces innovations that bring together desktop and cloud-based experiences, representing the next stage in the transition to a multi-device, cloud-based world.

When searching for documents in the Ubuntu 12.10 Dash, for example, users can see results from online services like Google Drive, as well as files saved on their hard drives. The Online Accounts feature allows authentication to online sites so that content like photos from Flickr accounts and contacts from Facebook can all be searched instantly by the Dash. The Dash can also search both paid and free content from Amazon and the Ubuntu One Music Store such as music, videos or any product be it digital or physical. The results are displayed in a separate section labelled, 'More Suggestions'.

FXI Cstick Cotton Candy Available Now to All Global Developers

FXI announced today that the highly anticipated Cstick Cotton Candy any screen microcomputer development platform has passed CE and FCC certification and is available now for sale and immediate delivery to global software, hardware and system developers.

“The demand for Cotton Candy as a platform for mobile enterprise clients, mobile entertainment systems or as a generic computer within a wide range of industry niches including security, health, public sector, digital signage, etc. has been enormous,” said Borgar Ljosland, FXI CEO. “These companies wish to provide a secure, mobile computing experience that meets their unique brand profile within a custom and controlled computing environment.”

L4D2 Runs Faster on Linux than Windows

Valve's hit online multiplayer game, Left 4 Dead 2, which was recently ported to Ubuntu along with the Steam client, is found to play faster on the platform than even Windows. The game generates higher frame-rates on Ubuntu with the new OpenGL renderer for Source engine than the Direct3D renderer it uses on Windows.

The disclosure comes as part of Valve's ongoing efforts to optimize the Source engine to the Linux platform, following which, it plans to port more of its game franchises, such as Half Life, Counter Strike, Team Fortress, and Portal. The games will be available on Ubuntu with SteamPlay, allowing users who already own a license for the Windows or Mac OS X versions to simply download and play the game on Ubuntu, without any purchases.Source: Phoronix

VIA Announces First Embedded ARM Based Pico-ITX Board, VIA VAB-800

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient computing platforms, today announced the VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX embedded ARM board. Featuring a choice of an 800MHz or a 1GHz Freescale ARM Cortex-A8 processor, the VIA VAB-800 combines a wide operating temperature range with extremely low power consumption to meet the demands of high-end industrial and in-vehicle fanless embedded applications.

Based on the industry standard 10 cm x 7.2 cm Pico-ITX form factor created by VIA, the VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX board combines a rich I/O set with superb multimedia performance, supporting playback of the most demanding video formats in resolutions up to 1080p. Leveraging VIA’s hardware design expertise, the VIA VAB-800 delivers the highest I/O integration on the Pico-ITX form factor for an ultra compact yet highly flexible platform for the latest embedded devices.

Valve Announces Steam and Left4Dead 2 for Ubuntu

Valve announced porting of its Steam content-distribution platform, Source game engine, and the smash-hit multi-player game title Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), to Ubuntu (Linux). The port isn't exactly straightforward, as code has to be rewritten for OpenGL. Valve already accomplished most of this, with its Mac OS X port, which uses the same API.

Valve is targeting just one distribution at this time, to minimize "optimization" overheads. Derivatives such as Mint could run the platform just fine. Valve's immediate goals are to get the Steam client to work on Ubuntu with full functionality, launching Steam for Linux with L4D2 (thanks to SteamPlay, gamers with L4D2 on Windows can play it on Ubuntu without additional purchases); and optimizing L4D2 to get additional frame-rates on Ubuntu. Valve is also work to get its other titles ported to Ubuntu.Source: Valve

Steam for Linux Arrives "in Months"

There is light in the end of the tunnel for proponents of a native-Linux version of Valve's Steam platform, as a Steam for Linux is just months away, according to a Phoronix report. Linux has been hiring developers with experience in Linux OpenGL applications for some time now, and the gearwheels at Valve have been able to drive out an early version of Left 4 Dead 2 that was seen running native on Linux (Ubuntu 11.10), without translation layers such as Wine, utilizing the OpenGL API, with the ICD provided by AMD Catalyst. Although first denied in 2010, Valve is back to the idea of Steam for Linux, thanks to its "flat" company structure that lacks a hierarchy. Following the footsteps of Steam for Mac, Valve could port some of its games to Linux, and give the client SteamPlay capability.

Sources: Phoronix, Engadget

CTL Releases the MB40U 14.1-inch Ubuntu-Running Notebook

Portland-based CTL Corp. has recently launched its very first Ubuntu-based laptop, the business-oriented MB40U which features a 14.1-inch (1366 x 768) LED-backlit display, Sandy Bridge power, and runs the latest Ubuntu release, version 11.10 aka Oneiric Ocelot.

CTL's Ubuntu-flavored notebook is equipped with a Core i3/i5/i7 processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, up to a 500 GB hard drive or an SSD with a capacity of up to 512 GB, Intel HD integrated graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ WiFi, Bluetooth, a 3-in-1 card reader, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, D-Sub and HDMI outputs, and a 6-cell battery enabling up to 5 hours of use per charge.

The MB40U starts at $449 and can be found here.
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