Is Linux Mint a crude hack of existing Debian-based distributions?

Also in today's open source roundup: Has Linux become too dumbed down? And Cyanogen's "MOD" platform lets developers integrate their apps directly into Android

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Has Linux become too dumbed down?

Many people have expressed the desire for Linux to be as easy to use as possible, to help increase its share of the desktop market. But has it become too dumbed down in recent years? One writer at Datamation recently explored this question.

Matt Hartley reports for Datamation:

Over the years, I've heard some people claim that Linux is finally ready for the masses. I would suggest that outside of a completely locked down OS such as ChromeOS (which is Linux powered), no OS is genuinely ready for the masses. Instead, it has been my experience that the masses should stick to tablets and Chromebooks.

I can see how my view of most computer users would seem a bit harsh. But I'd also be the first to point out that using smartphones have made all of us "dumb" in the sense that our complacency is at an all time high. Comparatively speaking, the difference between smartphones and PCs in terms of root access is night and day.

On a computer, running Linux...root is a mere command away from any terminal. With iOS or Android, you must gain access to a deeper level of the phone in order to have this sort of power. It's not nearly as simple and therein lays the comparative difference.

Most people believe their smartphones are completely safe from exploits and other malicious behavior because they have never experienced it on these devices. Mind you, I didn't claim this was a valid point of view. Rather, this is simply a widespread interpretation of how safe smartphones are. These devices also present a minimal learning curve for most people, so there is little to no reason to learn anything new about them.

More at Datamation

Cyanogen's "MOD" platform lets developers integrate their apps directly into Android

Companies like Google and Apple often have an advantage over third parties by being able to integrate their apps into their mobile operating systems. Now Cyanogen has launched its "MOD" platform that will give other companies the same access to Android as Google when it comes to app integration.

Chris O'Brien reports for VentureBeat:

...the Palo Alto-based company has announced a new version of its Android-based operating system called MOD that will give developers an ability -- normally reserved for Google -- to integrate their apps into a phone’s OS.

MOD is the latest salvo from a company that has raised $110 million in venture capital to develop a distinctly different version of Android — one that undercuts Google’s advantage in giving away the free operating system. While Google doesn’t directly make money from Android, many of its own apps (Gmail, Google Now, Search, etc.) are embedded in each version of the OS at a deep level.

...with the MOD platform, developers will be able to go one step further and build their apps directly into the Androids OS, rather than having them sit on top as separate program.

In the initial version, for example, Cyanogen has partnered with Microsoft so that Skype and Cortana can be built right into the phone. That means, in the case of Skype, that a user doesn’t have to tap on a Skype app button to launch the service. Instead, Skype is built into the phone’s main caller, so a call may happen through Skype or through the regular phone itself.

More at VentureBeat

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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