Chromebooks get Google Now and Material Design in Chrome OS 42

In today's open source roundup: Chrome OS 42 includes Material Design and Google Now. Plus: DistroWatch reviews Linux Mint Debian Edition 2. And six reasons why Linux is a good choice for users with disabilities

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DistroWatch reviews Linux Mint Debian Edition 2

LMDE 2 was released recently, and DistroWatch has a comprehensive review. How does Linux Mint Debian 2 stack up? And is it worth considering as your daily desktop Linux distribution? Read DistroWatch's review to find out.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

Despite a few problems I ran into early on with the system installer, in the end I formed a very positive opinion of LMDE. The distribution offered quick boot times, a responsive desktop (even in a virtual machine), lots of functionality out of the box and a very friendly user interface. I found the control panel easy to navigate and the software managers were pleasant to use. I like the Cinnamon application menu and find it slightly easier to navigate and search when compared next to the Mint menu. Cinnamon proved itself to be a flexible desktop environment and I like that the developers mostly disabled flashy effects and hot corners in the default configuration. We can add eye candy and extensions later, but we start out with a clean and responsive interface.

Mint ships with multimedia codecs and Flash, plus a selection of some of the best (in my opinion) desktop applications currently available in the open source community. LMDE handled my hardware without any problems. In addition, the project has lots of great resources for new users, such as a hardware compatibility database, active forums and community chat room. These are nice extras to have and I appreciate that Mint makes these resources easy to find through the welcome screen.

Apart from the difficulty I faced trying to set up LMDE on the Btrfs advanced file system, I had only good experiences with the distribution and I think, despite the project's warnings that LMDE is not as "mainstream" or stable as Mint's Ubuntu-based editions, LMDE provides a newcomer friendly, useful and stable operating system. I definitely recommend giving it a try.

More at DistroWatch

Why people with disabilities should consider using Linux

Linux has always had great appeal for certain kinds of users, particularly those who like having control over their own systems. But did you know that it also has much to recommend it to folks that have disabilities? Opensource.com lists some of the reasons why Linux might be a great choice for those with disabilities.

Spencer Hurley reports for Opensource.com:

Often, when issues of accessibility and assistive technology are brought up among people with disabilities, the topics center around the usual issues: How can I afford this device? Is it available for me? Will it meet my needs? How will I receive support?

Open source solutions, including any Linux-based operating system, are rarely, if ever, considered. The problem isn't with the solution; instead, it is a result of lack of information and awareness of FOSS and GNU/Linux in the disability community, and even among people in general. Here are six solid reasons people with disabilities should consider using Linux:

1. Customization and modification

2. Stability, reliability, and durability

3. Compatibility with obsolete or old hardware

4. Control and full ownership

5. Assistance from a large, international community

6. Fun

More at Opensource.com

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