Annoying myths about Linux that won't go away

Also in today's open source roundup: More ads are coming to Google Maps, and why some Chromebooks will not get Android apps

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Annoying myths about Linux

Linux has been around for many years, and has gotten better and better as time has gone by. Yet there are some enduring, inaccurate, and annoying myths about Linux that persist to this day.

A Linux redditor started a thread about Linux myths and got some interesting responses from his fellow Linux users:

SphtKr: “What Linux myth/misconception really annoys you?”

Smileeface: “That it has no / bad accessibility tools. I’m legally blind, and Linux has been an absolute godsend. First Compiz for years, and now KDE 5.

It’s got everything I need: full screen magnification (with multiple zoom modes!) to insane levels, per-window color inversion, focus tracking, mouse pinging, detailed window, font, and other UI settings, dark / high-contrast themes that don’t look like shit, text-to-speech - everything.

Granted, it used to take two weeks and three drops of your blood to set them up, but it’s pretty much plug and play nowadays.”

Waterrat: “I still see these on Reddit:

  • You have to do everything by the command line.

  • It’s fine if you have plenty of time.

  • It’s at least three years behind Windows.

  • There is a huge learning curve.”

Savet: “That Windows is somehow more user intuitive than modern Linux distributions and their accompanying desktops.”

Mickelle1: “That Linux and open source are “unsupported.”

Windows only comes with limited support for a limited amount of time, and they usually put that on hardware vendors.

If you really want support from a company of some sort. You can buy a copy of the OS from any major Linux developer (Red Hat, Ubuntu. SuSE, etc). Otherwise, there’s enormous community support and most questions can be answered with a quick web search anyway.”

Postmodern: “That OSX is a better or easier developer platform than Linux. Most developers who use OSX do not develop for OSX/iPhone, but instead deploy 100% of their code to Linux VMs on EC2 or Digital Ocean. Their toolchain is usually 100% OSS terminal-based tools such as Vim/Emacs, tmux, clang/gcc, PHP/Python/Ruby, zsh/bash; all of which are available via Linux package managers.

While homebrew is nice, it’s package selection is much smaller than APT/DNF/Pacman, and it’s source-based so have fun waiting for LLVM to compile… I wish developers who continue to defend and customize OSX would realize they’re basically Linux users.”

N0si: “It’s only for hackers and programmers. Don’t program and don’t care to. ”

Dereklillard: ““The software I use isn’t made for Linux.” which isn’t exactly a misconception but rather a stubborn habit.

I’m a recovered pirate when it comes to software. Most tech savvy windows users that I know have cracked versions of photoshop, ableton, and whatever other popular software is out there. I was the same way at one point. Once I found out about FOSS I realized that I didn’t need to find software cracks, download shady files, or install illegal software.

Trying to explain that to someone who has always used Windows is frustrating because they are often proud of their ability to find the cracks. “I can get $500 software for free and you can’t, why would I use anything else.””

PooshhMao: “That it’s difficult to use.

My ailing mother is a straight up Luddite, hating everything to do with computers. Never touched one until a couple of years ago, where she decided that the internet could enrich her life after all.

So, I gave her one of my unused shuttle PC’s. Installed Kubuntu on it, spent an hour tweaking things for her to make it straightforward to use.

She uses it daily, for email, social media, cooking recipes, paying taxes, the usual things. I haven’t had to intervene once. No ‘trial period’ is over popups, no virus or spyware paranaoia, nothing but pure, untainted computing goodness.

It’s crazy how easy to use Linux can be if you haven’t been taught to use Windows from the cradle.”

FirstUser: ““Linux is developed by volunteer programmers devoting their spare time” [FICTION]

It used to be like that in the early years, but in fact most Linux contributors are paid to work on it, often by big companies like IBM. And it’s been that way for a long time.

Ironically, this particular fairytale is most repeated by Linux supporters. Time to debug that old myth, and let the truth run in the foreground.”

More at Reddit

More ads are coming to Google Maps

Google has been busy coming up with new ways to monetize its popular Google Maps app for Android and iOS. The company will soon place more advertisements into its map software.

Richard Nieva reports for CNet:

On Tuesday, the search giant unveiled a handful of new ways for brands to advertise on Google Maps. That includes showing people ads from, say, Shell or McDonald’s – trying to compel you to stop to fill up on gas, Quarter Pounders, whatever – when you’re using turn-by-turn navigation on your phone. The ad will show up at the bottom of the screen with a button that says “add stop?”

The changes are part of new efforts from Google to make more money off Google Maps, which has more than a billion users. The announcement comes just days after Google’s annual I/O developers conference, when CEO Sundar Pichai laid out his plan for the company’s future. He envisions Google touching every part of your life, helping you find everything from restaurants while you’re traveling in the car to movies while you’re loafing on the couch. Google Maps is a big part of that.

Another type of ad tries to take advantage of all that time people spend on phones. For example, if you search for a nearby electronics store, Google Maps can show you a “promoted pin.” It will look like the normal pin that pops up whenever you search for anything on Maps, like a friend’s house or a park, but instead will have a company’s logo on it. That means a Best Buy promoted pin would have its yellow price tag logo on it and could show you a deal for 10 percent off phone accessories.

More at CNet

Why some Chromebooks will not get Android apps

Google has been working hard on bringing Android apps to Chrome OS, but not all Chromebooks will be able to run them. Some older Chromebooks won’t get Android app support.

Chris Hoffman reports for PC World:

Google is adding Android app support to Chrome OS, but your Chromebook might not get it. Despite Google’s promise of a five-year lifespan for Chromebooks, most Chromebooks released more than two years ago will be left out.

Google published a list of Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebases that will get Android apps. This isn’t necessarily a complete list yet, and new devices may be added.

If you want to be one of the first people to get your hands on this feature when it debuts in the developer channel with Chrome version 53 in June 2016, you’ll need an Asus Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R11, or Google Chromebook Pixel (the 2015 model only).

A variety of other Chromebooks—primarily ones less than two years old—will receive Android app support later in 2016. But older Chromebooks—even very capable ones—are left out.

More at PC World

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