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Now that the final curtain is about to drop on the year that was 2012, there’s no better time to look ahead and try to anticipate what 2013 will bring.

Predictions have been coming fast and furious throughout the tech press for some time already, of course, but not many focus on Linux.

With that in mind, here are some things I think we’ll see in the Linux world in this upcoming year.

1. The ‘tiny’ trend

There’s been no end in sight to the excitement over the Raspberry Pi this year, and it’s just one in an ever-growing class of tiny, inexpensive, Linux-powered PCs. It’s a real revolution in computing, as I’ve said before, with potentially huge implications for society and the world. I predict this trend is going to continue into 2013 and beyond, as free, open source, and resource-efficient Linux enables ever smaller and cheaper computing options.

2. Increasing ubiquity

One would already be hard-pressed to find a major company or aspect of the technological world that doesn’t rely on Linux in some way, but that’s clearly going to increase further. Not only are all these new “tiny” devices putting Linux into more consumers’ hands—even beyond what it has already achieved through Linux-based Android—but it’s also increasingly playing a role in the gaming world, for instance, as well as in cars and beyond. With its small size, flexibility, openness, and low cost, there’s virtually no limit on the places and ways it can be used to improve life for everyone.

3. Fully competitive at last

Speaking of ubiquity, I’m not going to predict that 2013 will be the oft-anticipated “Year of Linux on the Desktop,” which has questionable relevance at this point anyway, but I do think two key things happened in 2012 that make Linux a more compelling desktop choice for companies and individual users. First: Windows 8 happened. Second: Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular have finally reached a point at which their features truly match—or even surpass—what Windows offers mainstream users. It will take time, to be sure, for many to overcome the inertia that keeps them locked into Microsoft’s plan, but I do think things are now looking better for desktop Linux than they ever have before, and that will only continue throughout the upcoming year.

4. Linux preloaded

Whatever your views of Windows’ long-term prospects, it seems pretty safe to say that the widespread skepticism currently greeting Windows 8 means that more business and individual users will be seeking out other choices. That, indeed, will drive fresh uptake of alternatives like Ubuntu on the desktop, and it will also fuel the growing number of hardware options sold with Linux preloaded. Dell’s new developer-focused “Sputnik” laptop is but one of numerous recent examples, and I have no doubt that trend is going to continue in the upcoming year. More choice is always a good thing for users.

5. Back to basics

Last but not least, one big trend from the past year or so that hasn’t fared too well is the imposition of the mobile paradigm onto the desktop. We’ve seen it in Ubuntu’s Unity and GNOME 3 as well as Windows 8’s Modern UI, and a lot of users don’t like it. I predict—and I fervently hope—that in 2013 software makers are going to better appreciate that what works on one form factor—however wildly popular it may be—isn’t necessarily something that can be applied across the board in “one size fits all” fashion. The return by popular demand of GNOME 2 should be a lesson to all operating systems: mobile is mobile, desktop is desktop, and never the twain shall meet. Or something like that. 😉

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The Five Ps Of Marketing For 2024

How data, technology and changing consumer expectations are shaping the marketing mix

All of these technologies have the potential to give marketers new opportunities to meet and surpass consumer expectations. However, this is only possible if marketers can keep their skill-sets up to date and look at ways to integrate new ways of working into existing processes, for example through an effective digital transformation agenda.

Many businesses are struggling to keep up and it’s therefore interesting to take note of the innovations making the biggest impact. In an excellent article for the CIM, David Benady  recently outlined how these innovations fall into categories that form what he refers to as the new ‘Five Ps’ of marketing:

– Payments

– Products

– Promotion

– Place

– People

It’s worth reviewing each of these in turn and the different implications and opportunities for marketers:

Payments

As frictionless commerce continues to grow and transform the shopping experience, Apple Pay, Amazon, Google’s Android Pay and many other platforms will provide more opportunities for consumers to make mobile payments in ways that reflect their needs and lifestyles.

Google’s ‘Hands free’ app will potentially offer further, more transformative opportunities for consumers, whilst overall the trend is clear that mobile payments will only continue to grow. More and more payments are taking place on smartphones and tablets as they become increasingly ubiquitous in our daily lives.

Source: A.T. Kearney 2024

Opportunities for marketers Promotion

The data already indicates that consumers are using messenger apps more than social networks and chatbots may give brands an opportunity to create more meaningful content to engage and connect with consumers within these channels and make commerce more interactive.

Creating more personalised, one-to-one experiences is one way to create more relevant connections and the key platforms for marketers to be aware of include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Google Hangouts and Viber.

It’s also worth reflecting that the days of creating a half-hearted brand profile on a social network that simply broadcasts mass messages to users may be coming to an end. Chatbots, by contrast, have the ability to use natural language processing and AI to learn from conversations and therefore enable brands to offer exclusive new deals and promotions that are tailored to specific customer groups and followers.

Opportunities for marketers

Although it’s a valid strategy to create a presence across multiple channels, we’re seeing today that customers are using fewer apps more regularly. Of these, messaging apps are some of the most popular and therefore one of the big opportunities for brands will be to create services and content within these apps to reach consumers in the places that matter.

As part of KPCB’s internet trends briefing, Mary Meeker called voice “the most efficient form of computing input”. After all, we can speak 150 words per minute compared to typing just 40. Voice interfaces can learn about us and therefore improve their understanding and prediction of our intent. 

Products

One way of connecting with consumers is by becoming smarter through the use of different forms of data. For example, biometric heart data from a wearable wristband or piece of clothing could provide feedback on an ad or product on a website, which can then be tailored or adjusted accordingly depending on the signals.

The trend away from ownership with the rise of the sharing economy is another factor that is influencing people’s relationship with products:

Millennials in particular are more likely to use Uber or Airbnb to get around and stay somewhere respectively. We can also see this in the demand for streaming television, films and music via Netflix, iTunes or Amazon rather than owning DVDs or CDs.

It will be interesting to see how this trend develops and we could one day see this spread to other areas of life, including household appliances, furniture and technology.

Opportunities for marketers

Wearable tech gives marketers the opportunity to create new and extended brand experiences. Wearables are devices we use nearly all the time, everyday, and therefore loyalty is an area that could be explored further. The technology that wearables use also enables links and connections to other apps and services, providing real-time consumer behaviour data that could be harnessed (in a responsible and ethical way) by partner brands to develop more integrated customer experiences.

The sharing economy is another area of huge potential, with peer-to-peer finance, online staffing, accommodation, car sharing and video streaming all continuing to disrupt traditional markets and savvy marketers should learn from how these new disruptors are challenging the status quo and communicating the benefits to consumers.

Place

Place will become an increasingly important element of the marketing mix as people look for context and convenience. Location is a major indicator of purchase intent and it’s unsurprising that consumers are increasingly using ‘near me’ when searching for shops or services.

Beacon technology allows brands to connect with consumers when they enter a particular location and to target them in more meaningful ways. A few years ago Google published research around ‘Micro-moments’ that encouraged marketers to consider how mobile has shaped changing consumer behaviours. The demand for relevance is a key facet of this research and something location can help marketers to use as they develop more meaningful propositions.

Opportunities for marketers

As programmatic marketing becomes more sophisticated, marketers will find greater opportunities to target the right people, at the right moments, in the right context. With the right balance, consumers will experience better relevance and brands will realise better results.

People

Customer relationship management (CRM) is no longer about storing just basic customer data and keeping track of emails. CRM technology is beginning to impact the entire organisation, from managing communication internally between employees to building a detailed picture of the customer through multiple datapoints.

Technology has transformed customer expectations. With all the data companies have, customers expect more from the marketing they receive, particularly in terms of the frequency and relevancy of messaging:

Brands must therefore listen to and communicate across multiple channels, including websites, apps, email and social media, to build a truly 3600 view of the customer.

Marketers are now entering the boardroom and becoming a vital part of the sales process through the customer insights they’re able to obtain. It’s therefore likely that the role of the marketer will change, becoming more strategic by identifying ways to connect with consumers via multiple touchpoints.

Opportunities for marketers

CRM gives brands the opportunity to engage with consumers across multiple touchpoints and become more responsive and agile to market demands. Marketers must identify ways to use data and insight to build a more detailed and nuanced picture of the customer and map the customer journey accordingly.

However CRM isn’t just about connecting with customers. There are now opportunities for multiple departments, from finance to HR and client services, to use CRM to build deeper relationships with internal teams and in the process improve collaboration, processes and new ways of working.

The 2013 Google Encryption And What It Means For You

We survived Panda, Penguin, and a host of other near-crippling online marketing changes and sat on the edge or our seats awaiting this year’s massively new roll-out. Many of us hoped the delay meant nothing major was happening in the industry, but our hopes were swiftly dashed as Google announced its newest massive master business plan to revolutionize how we, as website owners, do business with them.

We’re not just talking about Hummingbird here, the search giant’s new algorithmic update that would provide users with richer and more conversational search results. It’s a huge modification and will affect 90% of all global searches. To keep up with the update, webmasters must maintain top-notch, rich content that can satisfy intent.

But that’s not only big news that SEOs should worry about. Earlier this month, Google announced that it would be encrypting all search activity within its walls, thus cutting off SEOs and marketers from accessing valuable keyword and search data.

The 2013 Google Encryption News Brief

While Google is being accused of doing this under the guise of hiding customer activity from the NSA (National Security Agency) due to the accusation of giving the NSA access to search data in June of 2013, we cannot help but wonder if the real reason is simply a smart business move. That is, to force more people to purchase their services and specifically, Google AdWords. Which is more realistic, seeing that Google switched their keyword Tool to a paid service and combined it with Google AdWords back in July and August of 2013.

What the 2013 Google Encryption Means for Everybody Else

The 2013 Google Encryption (for lack of a better nickname like Panda or Penguin), means that anybody who relies on search data to fund their content and website data will no longer be able to identify which keywords lead traffic to their site. It means that we, as business owners and content creators, will have an even more difficult time finding out which keywords to use to target our market audience. Thus, limiting and even crippling visibility in user search for thousands, if not millions, of inexperienced and untrained website owners.

Google reported that the encryption would impact less than 10 percent of web-searches. Though, businesses and blog owners alike have reported a steady rise each month with near 100 percent encryption eminent by the end of this year from all Google specific searches.

Introducing Unknown-Keywords and Not Provided Count by Google 2013 Encryption

This new encryption update doesn’t just mean that web marketers, SEO techs, and content providers will lose some of their marketing data, it will mean they will lose all of it via Google services. Google tools and non-Google companies, which used Google tools to provide their customers with important data about traffic to their site, now see the two most dreaded words in the marketing industry: Unknown-Keywords and Not Provided Count. This means that they are not provided with what keywords lead customers to their websites as well as being left in the dark about how many were lead there. Although the current search data encryption is hovering at about 80 percent, it is only months until we reach 100 percent. The question from concerned site owners and marketing strategists are met with a cold shoulder and dead silence by Google.

The Six Google 2013 Data Encryption Workarounds

The situation seems hopeless to a lot of people. For many, there is nothing you can do to change the situation Google has crammed us into. However, we are not without hope. This new roll-out gives us new opportunities and drastically changes how we need to approach the target market.

First, SEO needs to be approached in totality, not just meta-data and keyword placement within content. As marketing specialists, we need to focus less on keyword conversion rates and more on serving the customers with relevant and authoritative websites. This means, we as online business and website owners, now have to rely less on SEO strategies and more on traditional lead generation strategies to achieve business objectives.

Second, while Google keyword and search data is nearing 100 percent anonymity, other search engines are still offering their data to site owners for free. Since roughly 30 to 35 percent of search traffic comes from other major search engine companies like AOL, chúng tôi Bing and Yahoo, we website owners still have access to a limited amount of search data about organic traffic.

Fourth, page level tracking still works. This means that if we are smart, and good website owners should be this smart, we can still track entire pages of content. While we cannot tell which keywords lead to the organic traffic of that content, we can see how well the subject matter performed with our target audience. Thus, promoting the ability to see which subjects appeal to which customers or sell which products.

How to Transcend the Google 2013 Encryption

As our peers suddenly find their SEO strategies flat-lining and their website marketing efforts grinding to a halt, is there a way to transcend the old methods of marketing? Indeed there is, and it will take a melding of old, new, offline, network marketing, and even MLM strategies to make our efforts shine.

Eight Top Golden Rules for Survival:

1. We must let go of the idea that the top two slots on search results are the best from a marketing standpoint. Although most people rarely go as deep as five pages into search results, being on top of page one is not as important as we thought. Instead, optimize for the title and snippet within search results, aiming to capture reader attention  above competitors.

2. Traffic count and social following count are not as relevant as actual sales and lead generation. Those with the most traffic or social following are not necessarily the most successful businesses. Instead of getting lost in the numbers, get lost in making your efforts count towards the bottom line, your bottom line financially. If you are not making increased sales along with increased traffic, then relearn how to reach your target market through content and value of that content.

3. SEO mastery is not something better left to the IT tech or web designer. If you want a website that really sells, let the specialists do their own job. This means the designer catches the audience through visual design, the IT tech manages functionality of the website, the marketer manages the ad campaigns, the PR rep manages public reach outside the internet, and you hire a content creator who knows how to reach the heart of your target market in ways which lead to sales.

4. Linking URLS is not the end all of traffic. Truthfully, if some URLs lead to or from bad neighborhoods, it will still hurt business. So be careful of your online bedfellows. On the other hand, all the links in the world will not help generate sales anymore than page rank or social media. You can lead people to your site but you can’t make them buy. Focus, instead, on the value your site provides your potential and returning customers. Aim to reach them through content, site usability, and a product which sells itself because it is useful. Follow that up with links that add value, to your site or complementary companies.

5. Content still is no more useful than SEO strategies. While good content sells, good SEO helps tremendously with getting it there in the first place. Even though Google is making us fly blind, a good SEO strategy is still a winning emblem of good site management. The old rules still apply, do what works for your site and your product and yours alone, with a view to avoiding anything which smacks of spam to search engines programs. Optimize to readers, not search engines, but still spend time on back-end search engine optimization.

7. SEO strategies DO NOT mean defining exact keywords and repeating them or creating fancy header tags. These outdated optimization techniques are now part of the spam flag triggers implemented in passing years by the Google company during penguin, panda, and their entire zoo and parking lot of massive-scale updates. So, the new strategy is to change up SEO. Optimized instead for a solid theme of content per page, and only use header and sub-header tags and other HTML codes to maintain visual appeal of the site.

How to Survive the 2013 Google Changes

Remember that Google is a business and like all other businesses, they are going to do what makes the best financial sense for them. In the aftermath of this year’s roll-out, remember not to get to caught up in the tragedies it will cause. Instead, begin by implementing a well-rounded approach and common sense when it comes to marketing. Broaden your approach in marketing to include online, offline, networking, and MLM strategies. Traffic count does not equal prosperity unless the content and the product reaches the hearts and serves the needs of  the prospect.

Therefore, to survive this update, we must make firm our resolve to broaden our education and open our mind to new marketing strategies and efforts. While many of us cannot afford to take the time to revamp our entire website, its content, or our social media campaign. We can, and should, work towards a better internet and website experience for our prospective clientele. In so doing, we will come out on top of the marketing game.

photo credits:

FutUndBeidl via photopin cc

Gavin Llewellyn via photopin cc

5 Better Usenet Readers For Linux

USENET is a massively decentralized information distribution system. It was first developed in the early 1980s and over the years grew to become one of the largest messaging networks in the world. At its peak, USENET facilitated over 100,000 newsgroups that discuss just about anything.

Because of the decentralized nature of USENET, there are multiple ways of accessing the network. One such way is through Google Groups. While that may be appealing to some, accessing USENET through Google might not always be the best solution for everyone. This article will showcase five better alternatives for browsing USENET in Linux.

The Issue with Google Groups

However, there are many issues with the Google Groups interface that makes it painful to use for discussions:

Google Groups does not thread discussions. This makes following a large USENET discussion in Google Groups hard – if not impossible.

Google Groups does not have filters. There is no way for us to remove spammers and malicious actors from our inbox.

Lastly, spammers and malicious actors also use Google Groups. Because of this, Google accounts are often filtered out by the majority of USENET users. This makes participating in discussions harder for Google users.

Connecting to USENET Today

Connecting to USENET outside Google used to require a USENET account from an internet service provider (ISP). This account often came with an internet plan to subscribe to. However, most ISPs do not offer USENET services anymore.

Luckily, there are a few websites that offer free or cheap text-only USENET access.

1. Eternal September

Eternal September is a private USENET provider that serves text-only newsgroups for free. It holds all of the Big 8 hierarchies as well as hundreds of local and regional groups.

Setting up an account is also relatively straightforward. Simply go to the website and press “User registration.” The website will ask you for some information about yourself.

When you are done filling out the information, you can use the connection information to access USENET.

2. AIOE

Similar to Eternal September, AIOE offers free text-only USENET access. It also includes the Big 8 hierarchy as well as a good amount of regional and local groups. The main difference is that it does not require its users to register for an account to access the servers.

However, this means there are strict limitations on how often you can access AIOE’s network in one day. For example, there are limits to how long you can be reading posts online. Further, AIOE also has relatively short retention time for USENET posts.

3. Individual.NET

Unlike the other two in this list, chúng tôi is a paid USENET service for text-only newsgroups. At the moment, it is providing unlimited USENET access for 10 Euros a year.

One of Individual’s main selling points is that spam is automatically filtered in the server level, so you do not have to do as much filtering as you would with Eternal September and AIOE.

Further, chúng tôi offers a significantly long retention time of 1175 days. This is useful for users who want to archive a newsgroup they are following.

When you have finished registering, you can log in to chúng tôi and initiate a payment to activate your USENET account.

The following list contains USENET readers for Linux that are better than accessing through Google.

1. Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a great client for browsing USENET. The application already allows you to read your email and RSS feeds offline; however, it can also be used to connect to a USENET server to fetch news posts.

Further, Thunderbird is available on almost all Linux distributions. To install Thunderbird in Debian and Ubuntu, use apt:

sudo

apt

install

thunderbird

For Fedora, use dnf:

sudo

dnf

install

thunderbird

For Arch Linux, use pacman:

In the next window you will need to provide some information, such as your name and the e-mail address you want other people to use to reach you.

The next window will ask you for the address of the USENET server you want to connect to. In my case, I am connecting through Aioe.org.

2. Claws Mail

Claws Mail is also available in almost every available Linux distribution. For example, you can install Claws Mail in Debian and Ubuntu using apt:

sudo

apt

install

claws-mail

In Fedora, use dnf:

sudo

dnf

install

claws-mail

For Arch Linux, use pacman:

In my case, I am connecting through Eternal September. To do that, I need to provide the server’s address.

Further, Eternal September requires an account to read and post. To use my account with Claws, I need to tick the “This server requires authentication” checkbox and provide my USENET username and password.

3. Pan

Unlike Thunderbird and Claws Mail, Pan is a dedicated graphical newsreader for Linux. Because of that, Pan has dedicated USENET-only features, such as post queuing, article header caching and scorefiles.

It makes Pan a more attractive option for someone who wants to have an easy-to-use yet flexible newsreader.

Pan can be obtained from most Linux repositories. Install Pan in Debian and Ubuntu using apt:

sudo

apt

install

pan

In Fedora, use dnf:

sudo

dnf

install

pan

For Arch Linux, use pacman:

sudo

pacman

-Syu

pan

Once that is installed, adding your USENET server to Pan is extremely simple. When you start it for the first time, Pan will automatically ask you to set up an account.

From there, you only need to provide the address of the server you are connecting to and any additional account information that may be needed.

After you finish adding this information, Pan will download all of the newsgroups that the server is hosting. It may take a while if your Internet connection is particularly slow.

4. TIN

TIN is a terminal-based USENET reader. It supports both remote (NNTP) and locally (/var/spool) sourced newsgroup access.

TIN also supports article threading, scorefiles, and the ability to use your favorite text editor to send messages. TIN is, therefore, useful for people who are more comfortable with terminal-based applications.

Further, it is also available in almost all Linux distributions. You can install TIN in Debian and Ubuntu through apt:

sudo

apt

install

tin

In Fedora, use dnf:

sudo

dnf

install

tin

TIN is a very powerful program but still easy to use. To get started, we need to create two files in our home directory:

.newsrc file that contains the newsgroups we are following

.newsauth file that contains the authentication details for the USENET servers that require an account.

Setting Up the .newsrc File to Connect to USENET

To start reading posts, you need to populate the .newsrc file with the newsgroups you want to follow. The general format of the .newsrc file looks something like this:

“newsgroup” is where you will insert the particular newsgroup you want to follow. For example, comp.lang.c.

The second argument tells TIN whether we are subscribed to that newsgroup. “:” indicates that we are subscribed, and “!” indicates that we are not.

The last argument tells TiN which article numbers we have already read. Since we are just starting out, it is better to leave this argument blank.

Setting Up the .newsauth File to Connect to USENET

If you are using a USENET server like Eternal September, you need to provide your authentication details in the .newsauth file.

This file allows TIN to automatically log you in whenever you open the application and whenever you post. The general syntax of the file looks something like this:

nntpserver

[

password

]

[

user

]

“nntpserver” indicates the specific server where the authentication details are used. For example, news.eternal-september.org.

The second argument is where you will put your user password.

The third argument is where you will insert your user name.

Once done, you need to also change the file permissions of this file. Because this file contains your password, you need to make sure no one else can access it. To do that, type the following:

chmod

600

~

/

.newsauth

With that done, you can now start using TiN. To connect to your USENET server, use the following command:

tin

-Ar

-g

your.newsserver.here

The -A option forces TIN to authenticate when you first connect to the server. You only need this when you connect to a server that requires you to have an account.

The -r option tells TIN that you are using a remote source.

The -g option tells TIN the address of the USENET server you want to connect to.

5. slrn

Similar to TIN, slrn is a terminal-based newsreader and also supports article threading, scorefiles and using your favorite text editor to write your posts.

However, unlike TIN, slrn automatically generates your .newsrc file and provides you with all of the available newsgroups that the USENET server hosts. Further, slrn also has its own configuration file which allows you to further customize and configure its behavior.

Install slrn in Debian and Ubuntu using apt:

sudo

apt

install

slrn

For Fedora, use dnf:

sudo

dnf

install

slrn Setting Up Your .slrnrc File to Connect to USENET

Once done, you will need to copy the .slrnrc file from slrn’s installation directory. To do that, use the following command:

cp

/

usr

/

share

/

doc

/

slrn

/

slrn.rc

/

home

/

$USER

/

.slrnrc

The .slrnrc file is highly detailed and walks you through every aspect of configuring the program. However, for our purposes, we only need to set three things: the “hostname,” the “username” and the “real name.”

In my case, my .slrnrc file looks something like this:

...

set

username

"ramcesred"

set

hostname

"email.invalid"

set

realname

"Ramces Red"

... NNTPSERVER Variable and Connecting to USENET

At this point, you need to set the NNTPSERVER environment variable for your shell to allow slrn to determine which server to connect to.

The commands do slightly differ from shell to shell, but to change that in bash type the following:

NNTPSERVER

=your.newsserver.here

export

NNTPSERVER

With that done, the last thing to do generate the .newsrc file for slrn. To do that, type the following command:

slrn

-f

~

/

.jnewsrc

--create

This will run slrn with your preferred settings and connect to your USENET server. It will get a list of all of the available newsgroups to subscribe to and put that in a file called .jnewsrc.

You can now subscribe to your newsgroups by pressing L to search for your particular group, then pressing S to subscribe to it.

If the last two programs made you interested in learning more about the command line, check out our guide on how to send an email from the Linux terminal.

Frequently Asked Questions How can I reconnect to Aioe.org?

This is most probably because you were banned due to exceeding the daily allotted time for accessing Aioe. You can check back in 24 hours whether you can access it again or not.

However, if you feel that the allotted time in Aioe is a bit restricting, you can also set up an account with either Eternal September or Individual.NET

I am using Mozilla Thunderbird with Eternal September. Why are there no available newsgroups outside eternal-september for me to connect to?

This is because you have not authenticated your account through Mozilla Thunderbird yet. To do that, go to your “Account Settings,” then to your “Server Settings.”

There will be a check box labelled: “Always request for authentication when connecting to this server” to allow you to connect to Eternal September through your account.

I am using slrn. How can I reconnect to my USENET server when I open the program again?

This is because the NNTPSERVER variable was not set. When we first set up slrn, we just indicated the NNTPSERVER for the current terminal that we were using. Once we load a different terminal, that variable will not be present anymore.

To make this permanent, you will need to edit your .profile file and insert the same commands that we ran:

After that, you have to log out and log back in to your user account to see the change.

Ramces Red

Ramces is a technology writer that lived with computers all his life. A prolific reader and a student of Anthropology, he is an eccentric character that writes articles about Linux and anything *nix.

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Ubuntu Aims For Linux Desktop Unity

The next release of Ubuntu Linux could have a very different interface than regular Linux desktop users are used to seeing. Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth today announced that the Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwal release would use the Unity interface as its default Linux desktop shell. To date, Unity has been available to Ubuntu users as a netbook-focused user interface.

Shuttleworth announced the dramatic change at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), which kicked off today in Florida. In addition to the new desktop, Shuttleworth also announced a new effort to enable Ubuntu users to sponsor open source projects with financial donations. Shuttleworth’s overall goal is to continue to improve the quality of Ubuntu Linux as well as the broader ecosystem of open source projects on which it relies.

The move to Unity on the desktop will provide Ubuntu users that have 3D capable hardware with a new desktop experience that is different than the typical GNOME desktop. Though Unity is not technically part of the GNOME project, Shuttleworth noted that Unity is a shell for GNOME and it will run all the same applications that run on GNOME today. He also stressed that Ubuntu remains committed to GNOME, and the move to use Unity for Ubuntu 11.04 should be seen in a positive light.

“We’re working hard to re-assure folks in the GNOME community that our intent is to continue to support the values of GNOME as a project,” Shuttleworth said during a press conference.

Shuttleworth added that Ubuntu today puts a tremendous amount of effort into the GNOME project. Unity in some respects is a competitive effort to the GNOME Shell project which is expected to debut in the GNOME 3 release in 2011.

“The shell is simply the piece that is used for launching applications and for switching between running applications,” Shuttleworth said. “All of the applications are the same. There are developers within GNOME that just focus on GNOME Shell and that’s the piece that we won’t be integrating, but the rest of GNOME will fit perfectly into the Unity environment.”

Shuttleworth noted that Ubuntu developers have participated in the GNOME Shell effort, though they have taken a divergent view on a number of issues including how application menus should appear in the system. As well, Shuttleworth said that GNOME Shell has taken some technical decisions in its stack that do not align with Ubuntu’s direction. Lastly, Shuttleworth said that GNOME Shell is not yet a technology that is ready for wide usage.

“GNOME Shell is somewhat behind and we couldn’t ship it in this release,” Shuttleworth said. “We needed a solution now.”

Shuttleworth also dismissed any notion that Unity could lead to an open core model for Ubuntu where proprietary software is baked into versions of the Unity interface.

“We have absolutely no plans for any proprietary extensions to Unity,” Shuttleworth said.

Funding Open Source Software

With the 11.04 release, Shuttleworth also expects to debut a new system that will enable Ubuntu users to sponsor open source software projects with financial donations. The new sponsorship system will be built into the Ubuntu Software Center which was recently expanded in the 10.10 release, to enable users to purchase commercial software.

“In general we have a policy that where we are benefitting from open source and we can attribute that benefit to a particular upstream project, we share the benefits with those upstream projects,” Shuttleworth said. “This is a general mechanism for individuals to support projects and we will provide a mechanism for that flow to happen.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.

25 Useful Linux Commands For System Administrators

Linux is a popular open-source operating system used by many system administrators for managing their servers and infrastructure. As a system administrator, it is essential to have a good understanding of Linux commands to manage and troubleshoot system efficiently. In this article, we will discuss 25 useful Linux commands for system administrators, along with their examples.

ls – List Directory Contents

The ls command is used to list contents of a directory. By default, it lists files and directories in current directory.

Example − To list all files and directories in current directory, use following command −

ls cd – Change Directory

The cd command is used to change current working directory.

Example − To change current directory to /usr/local/bin, use following command −

cd /usr/local/bin pwd – Print Working Directory

The pwd command is used to print current working directory.

Example − To print current working directory, use following command −

pwd mkdir – Make Directory

The mkdir command is used to create a new directory.

Example − To create a new directory called test, use following command −

mkdir test rm – Remove Files or Directories

The rm command is used to remove files or directories.

Example − To remove a file called chúng tôi use following command −

rm myfile.txt rmdir – Remove Directories

The rmdir command is used to remove directories.

Example − To remove a directory called test, use following command −

rmdir test cp – Copy Files or Directories

The cp command is used to copy files or directories.

Example − To copy a file called chúng tôi to a new location /tmp, use following command −

cp chúng tôi /tmp mv – Move or Rename Files or Directories

The mv command is used to move or rename files or directories.

Example − To rename a file called chúng tôi to chúng tôi use following command −

mv chúng tôi newfile.txt cat – Display File Contents

The cat command is used to display contents of a file.

Example − To display contents of a file called chúng tôi use following command −

cat myfile.txt tail – Display Last Part of a File

The tail command is used to display last part of a file.

Example − To display last 10 lines of a file called chúng tôi use following command −

tail -n 10 myfile.txt head – Display First Part of a File

The head command is used to display first part of a file.

Example − To display first 10 lines of a file called chúng tôi use following command −

head -n 10 myfile.txt less – Display File Contents Page by Page

The less command is used to display file contents page by page.

Example − To display contents of a file called chúng tôi page by page, use following command −

less myfile.txt top – Display System Resource Usage

The top command is used to display system resource usage, such as CPU and memory usage.

Example − To display system resource usage, use following command −

top ps – Display Running Processes

The ps command is used to display running processes.

Example − To display running processes, use following command −

ps aux kill – Terminate Processes

The kill command is used to terminate processes.

Example − To terminate a process with a process ID of 1234, use following command −

kill 1234 df – Display Disk Space Usage

The df command is used to display disk space usage.

Example − To display disk space usage for all mounted file systems, use following command −

df -h du – Display Directory Space Usage

The du command is used to display directory space usage.

Example − To display directory space usage for current directory, use following command −

du -sh . ifconfig – Configure Network Interfaces

The ifconfig command is used to configure network interfaces.

Example − To display network interface information, use following command −

ifconfig ping – Test Network Connectivity

The ping command is used to test network connectivity.

Example − To test network connectivity to a host with IP address 192.168.1.1, use following command −

ping 192.168.1.1 netstat – Display Network Connections

The netstat command is used to display network connections.

Example − To display active network connections, use following command −

netstat -an ssh – Securely Connect to a Remote System

The ssh command is used to securely connect to a remote system.

Example − To connect to a remote system with IP address 192.168.1.1, use following command −

ssh 192.168.1.1 scp – Securely Copy Files Between Systems

The scp command is used to securely copy files between systems.

Example − To copy a file called chúng tôi from local system to a remote system with IP address 192.168.1.1, use following command −

scp chúng tôi [email protected]:/path/to/destination wget – Download Files From Web

The wget command is used to download files from web.

Example − To download a file from a website, use following command −

tar – Create and Extract Compressed Archives

The tar command is used to create and extract compressed archives.

Example − To create a compressed archive of a directory called mydir, use following command −

tar -czvf chúng tôi mydir crontab – Schedule Tasks to Run at Specific Times

The crontab command is used to schedule tasks to run at specific times.

Example − To schedule a task to run every day at 2am, use following command −

0 2 * * * /path/to/command useradd – Add a New User to System

The useradd command is used to add a new user to system.

Example − To add a new user with username “john”, use following command −

useradd john passwd – Change User Password

The passwd command is used to change password of a user.

Example − To change password for user “john”, use following command −

passwd john sudo – Execute a Command with Superuser Privileges

The sudo command is used to execute a command with superuser privileges.

Example − To execute a command as a superuser, use following command −

sudo command Conclusion

In conclusion, Linux commands are essential for system administrators to manage and troubleshoot their systems efficiently. above 25 commands are just a few of many commands available in Linux. By mastering these commands, you can become more proficient in managing Linux systems. I hope this article has been useful in providing you with some useful Linux commands to help you in your role as a system administrator.

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