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In today's open source roundup: Can you use a Chromebook as an ereader? Plus: Ubuntu powers a six-legged spider drone. And why don't users like the Ubuntu Software Center?

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Ubuntu powers a six-legged drone

Drones seem to be all the rage these days, and soon you'll be able to buy a six-legged drone that is powered by Ubuntu.

Silviu Stahie reports for Softpedia:

Erle-Spider is a new kind of drone, but it's not one that flies. As the name implies, it's a spider drone, and as it happens, it's powered by Ubuntu. Some of you might remember that Erle was among the first to adopt the new Ubuntu Core as their OS of choice, just a few months back. The OS from Canonical has evolved considerably since then, and it is now one of the most used OSes for IoT devices.

The new drone is not yet available, but we do know some the hardware specs for it. These include an ARM Cortex-A8 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of storage, and 2 additional Programmable Real-Time Units. It also comes with Wi-fi connectivity and quite a few sensors (Gravity, gyroscope, digital compass, pressure, and temperature).

More at Softpedia

The Erle-Spider site has more details:

Drones are amazing but they are much more than just flying vehicles!. We are excited to introduce the first smart robotic spider powered by Snappy Ubuntu Core. A spider that will provide everyone the amazing experience of Ubuntu while giving developers access to the new and exciting app store for robots and drones. Jump now into the future with Erle-Spider!.

Erle-Brain artificial brain including an ARM Cortex-A8 @ 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB of storage and 2 additional Programmable Real-Time Units. 4xUSB 2.0 Host, CAN, Ethernet, I2C, UART, USB 2.0 client (debugging), microSD slot.

Gravity sensor, gyroscope, digital compass, pressure sensor and temperature sensor.

WiFi hotspot (the spider creates its own WiFi network), WiFi infraestructure, Bluetooth, 3G/4G and several other RF communication mechanisms available.

More at Erlerobotics

Why don't users like the Ubuntu Software Center?

The Ubuntu Software Center has had its share of criticisms by many users over the years. But what is it about the Ubuntu Software Center that irritates people? Softpedia asked its community and got some insightful responses.

Silviu Stahie reports for Softpedia:

The biggest problem seems to be the fact that it's slow. Most uses say that it loads really slowly and that it takes a long time to do anything. Another issue is the fact that the software requires users to register with an Ubuntu One password for applications that are free and can be downloaded from other sources.

Another negative aspect seems to be the lack of transparency during installations. When you install stuff from the Ubuntu repos or just a DEB file, the application doesn't provide any kind of feedback on what dependencies are needed. This is important because some apps come with a lot of dependencies.

Other issues include crashes, poor recommendations for apps in the main window, freezes, and some users are even saying that it's too dumbed-down.

More at Softpedia

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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