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Ubuntu 13.10 isn’t due out until October, but one of the nice things about open source operating systems is that most of the development takes place in public. (I know, Ubuntu’s been getting some flak for working on skunkworks projects, but let’s ignore that for a moment).
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that you can take early builds of the next-generation of Ubuntu for a spin any time you like. Just don’t expect them to be bug-free.
Technically the main branch of Ubuntu doesn’t do alpha builds anymore, but the first alphas of version 13.10 for a whole bunch of Ubuntu variants launched today.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Ubuntu isn’t doing alpha releases anymore, but Kubuntu, Lubuntu, and others released 13.10 Alpha 1 today
You can’t download an alpha build of Ubuntu 13.10 today, but you can get Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, or other spins in fresh new alpha builds. Or you could just grab the latest Ubuntu 13.10 daily release. Just don’t call it an alpha. The final builds are due out in October. [Phoronix]
- Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir display server as default
Canonical has been working on a replacement for the aging X.org display server that ships with most GNU/Linux operating systems. Rather than using the Wayland solution that’s picking up steam, Ubuntu 13.10 will use Canonical’s own Mir system, although it’ll fall back on X when proprietary graphics drivers are needed. [Web Upd8]
- Report: Google building a new media stremer, game console, and smartwatch
Google may already have a wearable computer in Google Glass, but the company is reportedly working on a smartwatch too. Oh yeah, and a game console (which, unlike the Ouya and GameStick), would probably be able to access the Play Store. Oh yeah, and a next-gen Nexus Q media streamer. Because why should Chinese Android TV stick makers have all the fun? [WSJ]
- Imagination announces MIPS CPU roadmap, with support for low-power chips with up to 6 CPU
It’s easy to forget that x86 and ARM aren’t the only games in town when it comes to the chip space. Imagination (which bought MIPS recently) has been working hard to remind us, and the roadmap for its upcoming 32-bit and 64-bit “Warrior” chips shows where MIPS is headed. [Imagination]
- Skype is bundled with Windows 8.1
Microsoft bought Skype a few years ago. If you’ve been wondering what the company’s big plans for the communication software are, Windows 8.1 is the answer. Gone is the Windows 8 messenger app, and in its place is Skype. [The Verge]
- Selfoss is an open source, self-hosted RSS reader with desktop and mobile web views
Another day, another solution to the life-without-Google Reader problem. This one looks pretty nifty, assuming you have a server to set it up on. [Selfoss]
- Feedly plans to add support for OPML export
Speaking of Google Reader replacements, Feedly has just announced it will add OPML export capabilities, giving users a way to migrate off the service if the need arises. Once this and the upcoming search feature are complete, I’ll be a pretty happy camper. [Feedly]
- Chinese Galaxy S4 clone even copies the hands-free features
Chinese companies have been producing knockoffs of popular phones, tablets, and just about everything else for ages. But the NO.1 S6 doesn’t just look like a Samsung Galaxy S4. It also copies one of the more unusual features, letting you interact with the phone by waving your hand over the screen without touching it. [GizmoChina]
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Imagination will have an uphill battle to make MIPS popular. My only direct experience with MIPS was in a Casio Pocket PC years ago. Software compatibiity was a big problem because other Pocket PC manufacturers were using ARM chips. I am not sure there really is a need for another platform. I am usually all for more competition but with so many vendors using ARM I don’t see any advantage to adding MIPS to the market.
I was wondering if/when Google would get into the gaming console market. I wonder if they wouldn’t be better off just partnering with a vendor which would make the hardware instead of going it alone. If they really want to get into gaming their first priority should be to add support for wifi and/or blutooth game controllers into the next version of Android.
Skype integration into Windows 8.1 was predictable. I wonder if Microsoft thinks this will make Windows 8.1 more desirable. I personally think it opens the door for a competitor. The first company that can make a really good alternative to Skype that is not tied to Microsoft, Facebook, Google or Apple could make a lot of money.
So, when is Ubuntu adding a Metro start screen with garishly colored tiles?
I hope version 13 will also axe the start button, so that nobody in the office will complain if it takes you 3 minutes of smudging the display with your sausage fingers to open a program.
I think you’ll find Metro for Ubuntu was introduced as Unity!
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